Wednesday, September 12, 2012

8 WOW Wednesday: Kim Sabatini on Opening the Door to Acceptance

Kimberly Sabatini is a former Special Education Teacher who is now a stay-at-home mom and a part-time dance instructor for three and four year olds. She lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with her husband and three boys. Kimberly writes Young Adult fiction and is represented by Michelle Wolfson of Wolfson Literary Agency. TOUCHING THE SURFACE is her debut novel. (Simon Pulse – Simon & Schuster, October 30, 2012)

If her ramblings resonate with you, she would feel honored to have you stop by her blog from time to time.  You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

The Door to Acceptance

by Kimberly Sabatini
 
Two peculiar things happen when you go from writer to author. I first noticed them when I landed my agent Michelle Wolfson of Wolfson Literary. And it really became obvious when Anica Rissi from Simon Pulse bought my YA novel TOUCHING THE SURFACE. Simply put--people treat you differently when you’re an author. I know it sounds silly, but it feels a bit like learning the secret knock for a very awesome club. With a few well-timed raps of my knuckles, the door to acceptance opened for me. But why?

The first reason is validation. Industry professionals had given me the stamp of approval and it instantaneously gave me credibility as a writer. People could now assume that my writing and my musings about craft were not the insane ramblings of a verbose wingding. I just might have something they want to read.

My first reaction to this was unadulterated, thrill-inducing pride. I WAS A WINNER!!! But then I thought about it and realized that nothing in particular had changed for me in those days where I jumped the writer/author hurdle. I’d been querying and submitting for years. I was the same person that I was just a few weeks ago when I was—desperate. I wasn’t a better person, more talented writer, or even more popular than I was a week ago. I was simply not--in great need of, urgently requiring, in want of, eager for, longing for, yearning for, hungry for, crying out for, dying for--validation.

What I realized was that we all need our writing to be noticed, appreciated, respected. I won’t lie, getting it from industry professionals feels like hitting the lottery. But it’s more like being Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. She thought she needed those ruby slippers, but little did she realize—the magic was there all along. Of course, it wouldn’t be good story telling if Dorothy had clicked her heels the minute the tornado dropped her into Munchkin Land. We need the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and even the Cowardly Lion. We need the journey--which leads me to that second peculiar thing that happens when a writer becomes an author.

I told you earlier that I was no different a person the week before I got an agent and a book deal, than I was the week after. This is true. But what you need to know is that I have grown tremendously over the full journey of moving from writer to author. I can see it in my writing. It’s not a matter of looking back and noticing how bad some of the old stuff was, but more important, I see the growth in my writing now. The more I practice and integrate what I’m learning, the better I get. I also see it in my interaction with other writers. When I first began going to conferences and critiquing the work of my peers, I took more than I ever gave. I had to—I was nothing more than a verbose wingding. I only knew enough to be dangerous. That’s no longer the case. Today I feel as if I give helpful, well thought out critiques. I write blogs involving the craft of writing and I have real readers. At conferences I support and share and encourage.

The passage of moving from a writer to an author is never completely in your control. Do your best to grow your craft and always value your journey as much, if not more than, the prize of publication. That is what you can control. And when you do fly over that hurdle, remember what it felt like to need validation and what it means to receive it. Give it to as many people as you can. Also remember what it’s like to be a wingding. Toss someone a pair of ruby slippers. You don’t have to tell them to click their heels three times. Just point them towards Oz and remember how awesome it felt when you figured out for yourself…

There’s no place like home.

Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog. I am always grateful for the opportunity to be introspective. It’s good to remind myself what really matters about the wonderful journey of becoming an author.

--Kim

8 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Isn't this a wonderful post? I reread it last night before going to bed and fell in love with it all over again. It says so much about us all as writers.

      Thanks for stopping by, Linda!

      Martina

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  2. Inspiring post! Congrats on the successes of your journey, Kim, and thanks for sharing your perspective!

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  3. Oh, Kim, this is beautiful! You are so gracious. Thank you for sharing with us!

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  4. Great post Kim. It's so great how you've grown as a writer through the publication process. Hope we all can. Good luck with your book.

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  5. Wonderful journey!! How exciting for you and how helpful for other writers like me pursuing a future in publication. I, too, have come to see a growth in my writing even over the last year as opposed to the last five I've been doing so.

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