Today at Quotable Tuesday, I am joined by the extraordinary Anastasia Suen, author of over one hundred books for children, literacy blogger and teacher. I first ‘met’ Anastasia when my daughter pulled one of her board books off the library shelf. Later, I took one of her online writing classes which I highly recommend.
When I asked Anastasia, what quote sustains her as a writer, she pulled from the world of music. “One of my favorite quotes,” says Anastasia, “is from a song that Barbra Streisand sang: Putting it Together:
“Bit by bit, putting it together
Piece by piece, only way to make a work of art”
“The song lyrics from Streisand’s Broadway Album (1985) talk about how hard it is to make something that will sell. Everyone has an opinion about your work, but in the end, you just have to put it together “piece by piece” no matter what it takes.
“When it first came out, I used to listen to the album on “tape.” (This was long before i-pods were invented!) The words in the song helped me see that everyone does have an opinion about what you do, but if you want to make art, you just have to keep going until you get it done. Taking small steps is the only way I’ve ever gotten anything done, so the words inspired me. The album came out in 1985 and I sold my first book in 1996. I didn’t have “overnight success.” Small steps moved me from one place to the next. Working “bit by bit” is the only way l get things done.”
Not a bad philosophy. After sixteen years, Anastasia has gotten 138 (and counting) books “done.” Her latest are two more books in the All-Star Cheerleaders series with illustrator Hazel Mitchel who shares some of the work in progress from the up coming fourth book on Facebook. Anastasia says her son just updated the All-Star Cheerleaders webpage and there are new games to check out.