Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. Yesterday, I had a day off work and I spent my morning in my hometown conducting an author visit with third, fourth, and fifth graders. As I drove toward the school, I noticed some of the streetlights in town were out, and when I arrived, I found the school was without power as well. That certainly made my presentation more interesting. LOL!
I have to tell you these author visits are the bomb. I enjoy working with these kids so much. I like to run an interactive, informal presentation, and I also reward the kids for participating by giving prizes at the end of the presentation. These prizes certainly motivate them to participate!
Photo credit: flickingerbrad on Visual Hunt / CC BY
The teacher who organized this asked me to talk about my passion for writing and dealing with revisions and rejection. So, I started out the presentation by asking the students about their own passions and the discussion took off from there.
The students who spoke up had some intriguing passions. One girl wanted to be an actress, another wanted to be a soccer player, and still another wanted to be a gamer, and then there was one shy little girl who wanted to be a writer like me. 😊
I get just as much out of these author visits as I give. The kids’ enthusiasm is intoxicating, and you can’t help but become infected with it. They’re at that age where all they see are possibilities. They don’t see the obstacles and rough roads ahead and for that moment, I feel the same way.
Photo credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center on Visualhunt / CC BY
I also explained to them about constructive criticism and just plain old bad criticism. I told them that if someone doesn’t like your work, they need to tell you why. Just saying they don’t like it isn’t enough. If someone can’t give you constructive criticism, then don’t listen to them and don’t let them influence what you’re doing.
It is so rewarding to talk with students and learn what they’re dreams are. It makes me young again and realize I can still accomplish all the goals I want to achieve. I just have to keep working at it. After the visit, I drove through my hometown and noticed the changes and the things that have stayed the same, and a bubble of nostalgia swelled up inside of me. At that moment, I figured out an ending to the story I’ve been rewriting for the last year. I can’t wait until this project is done because I also have two other projects in the works and I came up with another idea while sitting at a stop light.
Sometimes, I accomplish so much without writing a single word down. 😊
Photo credit: Thomas Hawk on Visual Hunt/ CC BY-NC
How about you? What do you do that takes you back to the time of infinite possibilities? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!
10 thoughts on “Author Visits are the Bomb!”
I think that’s such wonderful advice for kids (and, actually, all of us) about criticism – that if someone doesn’t like your work they need to tell you why. It sounds like it was a great visit and you and the kids got a lot out of it. Thanks for sharing, Lisa.
You’re welcome, Julie! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! I appreciate it!
I’ve got an author visit coming up at the end of April, Lisa. Thanks for sharing your experience with us! What did you offer as incentive prizes? Just wondered. Hopefully the kids will be as welcoming as the one you described. Wink. Cheers!
Thanks for stopping by, Sharon! I appreciate your support. I gave away books. It seems to always get them interested in what I’m talking about. LOL! I’m sure your author visit will go great!
Sounds like a good time was had by all. Keep up the good work. And don’t you just love it when you’re able to break through that “stuck” spot by some ordinary act like driving through your hometown and noticing something for the very first time. I love that kind of inspiration when it hits me while I’m writing.
w/a Jansen Schmidt
Thanks for stopping by, Patricia! Yes, I love that kind of inspiration. That seems to happen a lot when I’m inspired by these kids. 🙂
They’re so smart!
This sounds utterly amazing. And the fact that you took the time to go around your hometown noticing what changed and what stayed the same is awesome. To me, it show how much joy you felt in connecting with these students. I’m always more open to the world and full of contemplative, observational energy when I feel that kind of joy.
Oh, Angela. You are so good at reading between the lines. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I know you like to write, what is it that you’re working on? I’d love to read it some day. 🙂
I put my novel aside in favor of all this essay writing I’ve been doing. My current pursuit is putting my “published elsewhere” essays on Medium. No success in earning money, but good success in having the editors “curate” it and distribute to people (I’m still learning the Medium lingo.)
I do hope to get back to full-length manuscripts, but it’ll take some time I think. I so appreciate the support though!