Next up on my guest blogger series, On Writing, is Deborah Kerbel. Deborah has written several children’s and YA books, most notably:
So yes, I must confess that there is something that compels me to cloister myself in my office and pound away at my laptop for hours every day. I’m sorry to say that the reason isn’t anything particularly exciting or altruistic…no, I don’t imagine changing the young adult world one book at a time. For me, I guess you might say it’s pretty selfish — I just love creating something out of nothing. I always have. There’s something powerful about starting with a raw idea, breathing life into it, watching it grow and spiral into a story and then, ultimately, releasing it into the world for readers to discover. The whole process is magical…like watching an illusionist conjure up a fluttering dove out of thin air. And it’s what drives me forward in my writing.
It’s no different than that feeling you got when you were a little kid and you sat down to draw a picture. Remember that giddy jolt of excitement you’d get when you’d pull out a blank piece of paper — so full of possibilities — and a fresh box of crayons? And remember the satisfaction you’d get, attacking the emptiness and filling it up with anything you wanted? No rules, no guidelines, no limits beyond the edges of the paper. A small universe waiting for you to define it.
I remember how, as a child, I’d get so caught up in the moment, the world around me would fall away and all that mattered was the story I was trying to tell in my picture. And when I was done, I’d hold the drawing up and revel in the finished product and that delicious rush of joy and pride achieved by making something from nothing. And then I’d run upstairs to show my Mom, bursting with the need to share my newest creation.
I guess a part of me hasn’t fully grown up because that feeling has never left me. I still love making something out of nothing and losing myself in the magic of the process. The thrill of uncovering the small universe hiding inside every blank page remains deliciously undiluted, even after all these years. The only difference is that now I tell my stories with words instead of crayons. And now, I get to share my creations with a much bigger audience.
Although my mom is still my biggest fan.
So in the end, that’s the reason why I write. Selfish? Yeah, maybe. But, just like breathing, it keeps me going.