Wednesday, December 1, 2010

WRITING TIP: Dream Small(er) with Lisa Yee

I am one of those people who people who believe that there's an aspect of Christmas that is a spirit, kind of like happiness. With that in mind, I've decided to celebrate the whole month! So join me to celebrate you, me, the big and the small. Whatever it is, find something to celebrate and be joyous about each day of this holiday season.
For today, I have something wonderful to celebrate! My Guest Blogger is one of my favorite authors, who's signed with one of my favorite editors (Arthur A. Levine) with one of my MOST favorite publishing houses (Scholastic). So tonight, while those visions of sugar plums dance in your head, Lisa reminds us that the sugar plums don't have to be big, small is just fine!
WRITING TIP: Dream Small(er) by Lisa Yee

If you go into this business (and yes, let's be honest, it is a business) with the dream of writing a mega bestseller, you might as well just quit right now. Sure, there are the HARRY POTTER books, and the TWILIGHT books, and even the WIMPY KID books, but those are anomalies.

Instead, tell yourself straight up, "I'm not going to be atop the New York Times Bestseller list."

Phew! Don't you feel better already? Because with that weight off your shoulders, you can get on with the craft of writing.

We all want to sell well, but you can't do that until you write well. (Okay, wait. I take that back. If you are a celebrity, you can get on the bestseller list.) So then, focus on writing that solid sentence, that coherent paragraph, that good page, and then see where you can go from there.
Lisa Yee is the author of:
Millicent Min, Girl Genius
Stanford Wong Flunks Big-Time
So-Totally Emily Ebers
Good Luck, Ivy
Absolutely Maybe
Bobby vs. the Girls (Accidentally)
The Year We Missed My Birthday
You can learn more about Lisa Yee at:, as well as follow her on her fabulous adventures at:


  1. Thanks for your sweet comments Lynn. And Lisa, that is a GREAT piece of advice. I think editors should follow it too and not let anxiety about outcome (bestsellerdom, awards) cloud their judgment about what they truly love.

    Happy Hanukah everyone!

  2. You're very welcome, Arthur! I'm glad you stopped by to add your keen thoughts (and your "let's step back and look at this from another angle" perspective that I've come to love). You've made this "two-for-the-price-of- one" advice! It does work on than one level. Thanks for pointing that out.
    Happy Hanukah, Arthur, and everyone!
    Thanks again, Lisa for your time and inspiration.

  3. You're welcome, Lynne!

    And Arthur, Happy Hanukah right back at you!