Home > Uncategorized > Recharging, Freshness, and Neener Neener

Recharging, Freshness, and Neener Neener

Yesterday when I talked with Jane Yolen, I discovered in her what I’ve seen in many successful writers and in many new writers waiting in the wings to be discovered. I have to admit that my heart swelled at this re-affirmation of human response.

And what am I happy about? Jane spoke of doing the “Happy Dance” when she gets an acceptance, for thing.

When I heard that, it was as a breath of sweet-scented air. That someone with 300 books under the belt could still feel such simple joy of accomplishment spoke clearly about the continuing thrill experienced by writers everywhere upon gaining publishers’ approval. It spoke of the universality of that thrill.

Then she talked about the common response to receiving the dreaded rejection letter, note, or worse – e-mail. Her words left behind the impression of vindication that any new writer would feel upon the final placement of a piece after rejection. Personally, I laughed out loud.

For perhaps the first time I’d heard a famous writer admit to a neener, neener. It did my heart good to know that no one ever gets so established that a small part of them can’t relish that very human response to having work turned aside as unworthy. I found hope for all writers in that simple statement of hers.

Jane is one of those special people who still embraces life with both hands and uses what she finds within it to create the stories that so delight her readers, whether children or adults. She gave hints along the way of how story ideas come and go or stick around to be fleshed out for submission. The one thing that she doesn’t discuss is quitting an idea just because is isn’t working at present.

Jane’s apparent philosophy toward work is one of joy. Without that, I doubt she would continue to play with words the way she does. She seems to have found her recharging station in Scotland where she can quietly discharge pent-up up tensions and concerns in exchange for new perspective and direction.

Unintentionally she reminds us all that without stepping back and looking at our work, direction, and goals, writers get stale, bored and out of sorts. All of us need that period of recharging. It doesn’t matter whether we get it from a week on an island paradise or a weekend in the city with boy/girls to decompress. It could be something as simple as taking the family on a weekend camping trip to a local state park.

Some writers require months to get themselves ready for the coming self-imposed onslaught of work. Some, because of obligations, can only do a weekend once a month to pull away and take a fresh look at themselves and their work. Or, just to pull away and look at anything but their work.

No good writer with an ounce of self-preservation in the business will allow him/herself to grow blaze, bored, or disenchanted with their work. If they intend to stay in the business, that is. Perhaps that’s why some part-time writers still find so much joy and life within their words. They haven’t yet found the time to have only the blank page reflect their lives.

If all a writer puts on the page are reflections of the vicarious nature of their existence, how can joy enter the picture? Even those who rail at the vagaries of daily life find something more. Otherwise, writers like Edna Bombeck wouldn’t have risen to the level of popularity that she held.

Her humor kept readers coming back for more for decades. As a reader of her work, the joy contained within her words gushed as white-water rapids rather than lowly tap water. Her material embraced the mundane and found the irony contained within that we all notice but seldom remark upon. She found her voice in humorous complaint, complaint that others wished they’d been clever enough to find first.

Jane Yolen gives us a hint of that mentality in her children’s books’ titles. Who else would have thought to write a book and then title it “How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You.” After so many books she still creates such catchy titles that debut as a best-seller. Would that I ever achieve a tenth as much in my writing life.

I will take my lesson in simplicity, freshness, and recharging and work my way forward. How about you? Have you found you own recharging station, your own fresh perspective? I wish you all well with that mission. In this world where everyone seems to have a platform, a niche, anyone who is content with their own perspective is a lucky individual.

Take care, all. Tomorrow my interview will be with Aidana WillowRaven, a marvelously talented illustrator who does have her own perspective.

Until then, a bientot,


Categories: Uncategorized
  1. March 9, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    Love this post Claudsy. So much writing about writing goes on and on about the torture of it all. It’s so good to remember the joy!

    I am sometimes unable to find that as a copywriter, churning out pointless pages whose only purpose is to attract Google. That’s why I have my own blog. A clever turn of a phrase, a cool idea that turns into a witty post — those give me a lot of joy. (And I suspect are highly therapeutic as well)

    • claudsy
      March 9, 2012 at 4:44 pm

      I have no doubt of that, Leslie. So much of writing isn’t the fun stuff. The fun stuff, for me, is the creating of the idea, seeing where it can go, and then herding into that corral.

      Thank you and I’m glad you came by. Come by anytime.


  2. March 9, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    By the way, I’ve tried to subscribe via RSS feed, but all I get is a page of code.

    • claudsy
      March 9, 2012 at 4:45 pm

      Leslie, you aren’t the only one with trouble. I have to take an hour soon and see if I can figure out what its problem is. Thanks for reminding me.


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