"I wanted so badly to study ballet, but it was really all about wearing the tutu." Elle Macpherson
When I first started writing for children, it was all about the tutu. Sure, I did the work and wrote the books. I even had several people read my work and give me great advice and encouragement. The problem was that everyone was SO encouraging and positive about my impending publication and success, I kind of got caught up in the "tutu"--the Newbury Awards, the Oprah interviews, the adoring fans . . .
When success didn't happen as quickly or surely as I thought it would, I realized that I had some work to do. I started going to conferences and started seeking out readers who wouldn't simply cheerlead my work as genius--they would point out flaws and weaknesses (an actual critique).
So, here I am a few years later. I do still dream of the tutu--who doesn't? That's the most fun part, and I think we can all agree that Elle Macpherson's dreams of wearing the tutu came true in a big way. I love the thought of hanging onto that big ole dream out there in the sky while I do the grunt work that I have to do to prop it up someday. I think this quote sums it up:
"If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them." Henry David Thoreau
So, enjoy your dreams. And then--get to work.