Tag Archives: Sophie’s Masterpiece

Eileen Spinelli–On worry, risks and loving the work

 I can’t tell you how many students of mine have said, “I want to write this novel, short story, poem,” but I don’t know if I’ll ever get it published.  And I can’t say enough, don’t worry about that while you’re writing.

Worry.  Robert Frost once said that once it’s written, a draft of a poem can be worked over but the poem itself cannot be worried into being.

Here are some wise words from Eileen Spinelli about this very subject.  Spinelli is one of my favorite children’s authors, her book Sophie’s Masterpiece really is a masterpiece.  She’s also married to YA author Jerry (Stargirl, Maniac Magee) Spinelli.  Take a listen:

“Here’s a beautiful quote that I love. Natalie Goldberg said, “If you love the work, it will love you back.” How can you love the work if you’re already a mile down the road worrying about whether it’s going to be published? The publication will take care of itself. I hate to see writers just cringing and skipping ahead, and worrying about publication. I think it interferes with what you do. It makes you afraid to take risks, for one thing, because you are too afraid. “Is the publisher going to want this?” or “Is the editor going to like this?”—that’s the adult in you.”

So, quit worrying–but keep writing!

Bye y’all,



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