by Bryan Patrick Avery
Happy New Year, everybody. The beginning of a new year always feels like a chance for a fresh start. We set new goals, prepare to face new challenges, a make resolutions. I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions, but I decided to make one this year. Yes, just the one. If you’re the type make resolutions, I invite you to add this one to your list:
"I will not measure my writing success by comparing my accomplishments to the accomplishments of anyone else."
It sounds simple enough, but I see so many writers who experience frustration and self-doubt when they see their peers announcing agent signings, new book deals, and awards. Soon, the ALA awards will be announced. Most of us won’t win but we shouldn’t let that put a cloud over our own writing.
You might wonder how I came to this realization. Here’s how: In the past few years, I’ve sold 13 books and two short stories. It’s been a fantastic ride and I’ve loved (almost) every minute of it. Still, with all the success I’ve had, I’m not even the most accomplished writer in my immediate family. My brother, Kevin Avery, has won two Emmy awards. He’s won a Writer’s Guild award and a Peabody. To top all that off, he actually took our mother to the Emmy awards ceremony. There’s no way I’ll top that. You know what? I’m okay with that. He’s pursuing and reaching his goals and I’m pursuing and reaching mine.
My great-grandfather “Dad AB” used to sit at the children’s table at family meals and always told the kids “keep your face in your plate”. You didn’t need to look around. You didn’t need to see what everyone else had or what they were doing. You just needed to focus on what was in front of you.
It’s good advice. Let’s face it, publishing is a tough business. It’s even tougher when you get distracted but what others are doing. Take Dad AB’s advice and keep your face in your own plate. Focus on what you’re doing and you’ll be much happier.
One way that’s helped me stay focused on me is to celebrate. I celebrate everything. Finished a draft? Celebrate. Sent off a manuscript to my editor? Celebrate. Booked a school visit? Celebrate. You get the idea. Remind yourself to enjoy these moments, and writing will be joy whether or not you win awards or end up on bestseller lists.
Well, that’s all for this month. Happy writing and have a magical month.
At the age of 7, Bryan Patrick Avery discovered a love of reading and mysteries after receiving his first Bobbsey Twins Mystery Book. Today, he is an award-winning poet and author of books for children. His middle-grade story, “The Magic Day Mystery”, appears in SUPER PUZZLETASTIC MYSTERIES, an anthology from HarperCollins and the Mystery Writers of America. His debut picture book, THE FREEMAN FIELD PHOTOGRAPH, illustrated by Jerome White, was published by Clearfork Publishing/Spork. His early reader series, MR. GRIZLEY’S CLASS, illustrated by Arief Putra, is available now from Picture Window Press. He is the 2021 recipient of the SCBWI Work in Progress Award for his chapter book mystery THE ROBOT IN THE LIBRARY. His middle grade non-fiction book, BLACK MEN IN SCIENCE, illustrated by Nikita Leanne will be released in February by Rockridge Press. Bryan lives in Northern California with his family.
We are so excited to be mixing things up at CBA, beginning with some delicious additions to the Blogfish. Meet our awesome bloggers!!
Here's our lineup:
1st Mondays begin with awesome Aussie debut author and former student Amanda Lieber who will be focusing on Aussie kidlit.
2nd Mondays will feature super smart Melissa Stoller whose career is taking off with several new books.
3rd Mondays will feature STEM, STEAM & SEL obsessed author Kourtney LaFavre sharing delightfully dorky, quirky, and fun info.
4th Mondays will be a mystery for right now.
And 5th Mondays we'll be taking a break