Words of Wisdom from Judy Blume

2011 SCBWI Conference surprise guest Judy Blume fully admits that she doesn’t like to give advice to writers. But during her Q&A session with SCBWI president Lin Oliver she had plenty of words of wisdom to share. Here are a few of her insights:

Words of Wisdom:

  • The reason for writing is to find out what is going to happen.
  • “Everybody needs somebody who’s supportive.” There was a teacher in a writing class that Judy took who was that support for her.
  • Let loose! “Are You There God It’s Me Margaret” was the first time she let loose in her writing.
  • Write the book you want to read! “Why would you write the kind of book you wouldn’t want to read?”
  • It never gets any easier! The anxiety is still there. The only thing that gets easier is the thought that “I know how to do this.” But only because she’s done it before.
  • I’ve learned to keep binders for my notes over the years. I have a binder for each book. This was particularly helpful when working on “Summer Sisters”.
  • The inspiration will be inside you. Then you just write.
  • When it hits you inside and its right then you have to write it! It will be your own. Don’t worry about who your audience is.
  • Was is writing but controlling your own movie? There’s no committee! You are acting out all the characters goals.
  • We all started writing not knowing what we were doing! Me too!
  • Telling a story is a quest.
  • Question your characters – don’t question yourself!
  • I don’t dream about my legacy. I think that’s really dangerous!

Judy Blume is one of the most widely read authors of juvenile and teen fiction. Her many books include: Tiger Eyes, Are You There God It’s Me Margaret, Blubber, Forever, The Fudge Series, and Just as Long as We’re Together. Her novels have exceeded sales of 80 million and have been translated into 31 languages.

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