Secretly, I bought a book on writing by Gail Carson Levine called Writing Magic: Creating Stories That Fly. It was geared more toward kids, but something about her words bolstered me up and gave me confidence in myself. I liked that feeling, so I bought more of her books.
|Here she is, by the way. Is she not the cutest EVER???|
Later, while I was still keeping all writerly things secret and therefore suffering with my self-doubt all alone, I read one of Gail Carson Levine's novels, called The Two Princesses of Bamarre. I don't think I can explain exactly why this book touched me so deeply, I only know that it did. It's about a girl who has to find courage when she doesn't believe she has any, and the strength of sisters, and the importance of bravery when all hope seems lost. I read late into the night and finished with tears of bittersweet joy smeared all over the front of my shirt. (And then the adrenaline rush hit and I was bouncing around the house, but that's not important right now.)
From her books--all her books, but this one especially--I just felt right about writing. I felt like she was personally giving me permission to admit that this is what I wanted to do, and that I could do it in my own way, with my own voice, and that it would be great.
Gail Carson Levine will probably never know the impact she's had on me (unless some day I get the chance to meet her in real life and manage to say more than, "Uh...derr...I'm in love with your pretty books...") but she set off a spark that reminds me when I doubt that I can do it, that what I have to say can be meaningful and perfect to someone else.
So thank you, Gail Carson Levine! I think your books are pretty!