Thursday, December 6, 2012

If I could give my younger writer self some advice - by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

It's been a pretty amazing couple of months for me. I'M BORED, a picture book that Michael Ian Black wrote and I illustrated, has been getting some wonderful press.

I really wish I could take part of the mega-good-karma that is happening now and sprinkle it into my writing career a few years ago, when I was getting rejection after rejection after rejection.

Way back, I used to think that once I had my first book published, I'd have it made.

The reality? There's a whole other level of angstiness. And of course the truth is that no matter what stage a writer (or illustrator) may have reached in their career, there will ALWAYS be something else to stress about. Those who haven't yet reached a particular level will envy those who have, no matter high up.

I'm sure even J.K. Rowling has her angsty list.

If I could give my younger self some advice, it would be this:

Enjoy every success, no matter how small. Try to put some of the emotional energy you're putting into... 

1. Wanting something you don't have


2. Insecurity about where you are vs where you think you should be 

....and save it for your creative process.

Meanwhile, of course, I'm trying to take my own advice in terms of my writing career. I've been published as an illustrator and am working with S&S on writing my first picture book.

The next step? Getting my middle grade and YA novels published! Grateful to the MiG Writers for helping me improve my novel-writing craft.

Meanwhile, I'm enjoying the journey. :-D

Debbie Ridpath Ohi writes and illustrates books for young people. Her illustrations appear in I'M BORED, written by Michael Ian Black & published by Simon & Schuster Books For Young People. I'm Bored was selected by The New York Times for its Notable Children's Books Of 2012 list.


  1. Good luck with everything. Senidng your present self some Get Happy vibes.

  2. Thanks for the great advice, Debbie!


  3. Great Advise Debbie and good luck with everything!

  4. As Garth Algar would say, "Live in the now!" So hard to do. Thanks for the reminder.

  5. Fantastic advice Debbie. And I love your novels. I can't wait until they're out for the world to read them.


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