Happy Birthday, Kate DiCamillo, born 25 March 1964
- Writing is seeing. It is paying attention.
- Stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark. Begin at the beginning. Make some light.
- I have a Bachelor of Arts in English, which means I had a lot of formal training in reading.
- Every well-written book is a light for me. When you write, you use other writers and their books as guides in the wilderness.
- Reading should not be presented to children as a chore, a duty. It should be offered as a gift.
- My goal is two pages a day, five days a week. I never want to write, but I’m always glad that I have done it. After I write, I go to work at the bookstore.
- “Once upon a time,” he said out loud to the darkness. He said these words because they were the best, the most powerful words that he knew and just the saying of them comforted him.
Writing Tips from Kate’s website
- WRITE. This may seem like an obvious piece of advice, but there are a lot of people (and I was one of them for a very long time) who think that somehow they can become a writer without doing the work of writing. Make a commitment to yourself to write a little bit (a paragraph, a page, two pages) every day.
- REWRITE. You can’t sit down and expect something golden and beautiful and wise to spring forth from your fingers the first time you write. You can, however, reasonably expect a piece of writing to get better each time you rewrite it. I can’t emphasize this strongly enough; writing means rewriting.
- READ. You have no business wanting to be a writer unless you are a reader. You should read fantasies and essays, biographies and poetry, fables and fairy tales. Read, read, read, read, read.
- LOOK – at the world around. Pay attention to details. Open your heart to what you see.
- LISTEN – to people when they talk. Everyone has a story. Eavesdrop. Join in conversations. Ask questions. And pay attention when people answer them.
- BELIEVE IN YOURSELF – there is no right or wrong way to tell a story. This is one reason that writing is so wonderful and terrifying: you have to find your own way. Be kind to yourself. Listen to other people. And then strike out on your own.
Kate DiCamillo is an American writer of children’s fiction. The Tale of Despereaux won the Newbery Medal, and Because of Winn-Dixie was a runner-up. The Library of Congress named DiCamillo the new national ambassador for young people’s literature in 2014.
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