Two Pages

“The world is beautiful, the world is hard. Fiction is duty-bound to reflect this.
Kate DiCamillo

To me, one of the most exciting things about being a writer is that there are always amazing new writers to discover and learn from. in my MG/YA research for my novel, I came upon a wonderful interview with Kate DiCamillo. a beloved children’s author who won a Newbery Honor for her debut book, Because of Winn-Dixie and an actual Newbery for The Tale of Despereaux, her heart=warming story about a mouse who loves to read books rather than nibble them.

In her interview, Kate said that there are a handful of books on writing that she turns to again and again, among them Art & Fear, A Sense of Wonder, and The Artist’s Way.

Like many successful authors, Kate didn’t start out as a writer, but at some point in her life, she felt called to become one. It wasn’t easy, and she had to find, not only her own voice, but her own way of working. Early on, she determined that a “manageable, reachable goal” for her was two pages a day. So that’s the target she set for herself when she began and she’s stuck with it.

Her writing regimen is simple: She gets up in the morning, gets a cup of coffee, and heads to her writing desk. When she’s written two pages that she’s satisfied with, she stops. Kate subscribes to the Hemingway approach — try to break off when things are going well, so you can start the next day on an up note. Kate likes to “blow through” her first draft and get a rough map of her story down, then revise extensively.

Two pages: It doesn’t sound like much, does it? Sometimes it only takes an hour for Kate to reach her goal — then she’s done writing and goes about the rest of her day. But think about it: Craft two pages a day and in 150 days — just five months — you’ll have 300 pages written! For Kate DiCamillo, this slow but steady approach has led to beautifully crafted writing and beloved books. For some helpful scrivening tips, check out katedicamillo.com. Write on!

About karinwritesdangerously

I am a writer and this is a motivational blog designed to help both writers and aspiring writers to push to the next level. Key themes are peak performance, passion, overcoming writing roadblocks, juicing up your creativity, and the joys of writing.
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2 Responses to Two Pages

  1. DiCamillo is one of our favorites; we’ve re-read all of her books several times!
    Two pages seems like a little, but it is a lot if it’s written well.
    Love this post! Thanks for the constant encouragements Karin!

    • Hi Chris,

      Thanks so much for your note! Just this morning I picked up a copy of The Tale of Despereaux at Watchung Booksellers — can’t wait to read it! I found out the name of Kate DiCamillo’s agent and am thinking of sending my story to her. Anyone who works with Kate must be great. Read a wonderful story about her start as a writer which I’ll tell you at our next lunch — just let me know when you have some time.

      Keep cool, Karin

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