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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Carmen Oliver's BEARS MAKE THE BEST READING BUDDIES


A BIG HEART = AUTHOR SUCCESS
written by Carmen Oliver
illustrations by Jean Claude

Elizabeth talks about “Heart Art,” the part that makes the illustration magical. For a writer. For me, “Heart Art” or “Heart Story” is author intention. My heart is in everything I write. I believe it’s in every author’s work.
      Embedded. Woven. Waiting to be discovered.
      The real reason behind why the author wrote the book. And when a writer tells a story with their heart stitched into the fabric of a manuscript well, then, success. Magic. Bliss.
      Donald Mass in his novel The Breakout Novelist said, “Success as an author requires…a big heart.” I agree.
      I think it takes a big heart to come back to the page, time and time again when things aren’t working. When you’re frustrated. When the doubts creep in. I think a big heart encourages the writer. Trust yourself. Begin again. You can do this. Go on, we’re in this together. A big heart can’t give up. It cares too deeply. About the story. About the characters. But most of all, about the readers. About delivering a story that matters to them. And yes, to you too.
      A big heart reaches out and extends a hand to fellow writers. Knowing helping them achieve success is a reward unto its own. By serving them, you receive something too. A big heart knows there’s room for everyone.
      I also believe a successful author is one that measures all the achievements, big or small. A page written today. A chapter finished. A novel outlined. It’s not always a book sold. #1 in sales. An award in your back pocket. Success comes from working day in and day out. Slow and steady. Writing when you don’t want to.
      A big heart is open to all possibilities. Knowing that there is more than one way to get to the destination. Knowing that failure is needed to get to success. Knowing that humility and humbleness make us do our jobs better. A big heart knows anything is possible. And we don’t have to step on people to get there.
      In my heart, I know there are no coincidences in life. That if you allow your heart to be open, big and wide, well there’s nothing you can’t do. So let the people in. Learn from whoever is willing to teach you. Love the work. Lift others.
      Don’t worry about success. It’ll find you. All you need is a big heart.
      If you’re in Austin, TX this summer, Carmen is teaching Perfecting the Picture Book I at The Writing Barn and later this September at Highlights with Don Tate’s workshop The Journey: Your Path to Publication with special guests, Alison Green Myers, and Kathleen Hayes.
Carmen's fave writing spot at a lake house...

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