What Do Authors Do All Day?


Last week, I was invited to give a talk in my daugher’s a second grade class. The students were doing a unit on careers, and I was invited to talk about  being an author. Here are some of their questions, and my answers:

How do you prepare for your career?

Get a little notebook. Start writing every day: describe the things you see, write down your most interesting conversations, copy down great passages from things that you read or wonderful quotes that you hear. Pay attention: look, listen, slow down. Pay attention to what is going on all around you; pay attention to the dreams that God gives you and the ideas that bubble up in your imagination. Don’t go anywhere without your little notebook. Pay attention. Write it down.

Would you recommend your career to others?

Yes, I would. I also would say that being a writer is a great second career. Your daytime job might be being a teacher or a mom or a pilot or a lawyer. But you could still be a person who writes great stories.

What is the best thing about your career?

I get to use my imagination, and I get to read and write all day. [Looks around at all the little kids in the class]  I also get to travel a lot and talk to interesting people.

Wow, did you ever get to talk to Eric Carle?


Did you ever get to talk to the President of the United States?


Did you ever get to talk to Oprah?

No. But I published something in her magazine.

At this point, the teacher jumped up to take a picture of me holding a copy of O Magazine,

and absolute mayhem ensued.


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