Blue Balliett

For You, From Blue

Advice for anyone who wants to write — from the author of Chasing Vermeer, The Wright 3, and, The Calder Game.

Dear Aspiring Writers,

Kids who want to be writers should just keep writing. Keep a notebook, and write lots, including questions and ideas you don’t completely understand. I also think it’s really important for writers to read well-written books – if you’re a constant reader, the language you read becomes a part of your own language.

I think I wanted to be a writer by the time I was 8 years old. I wrote my first book in 4th grade, but I wanted it to be very long, and I didn’t manage to finish it. Once I was out of school, I wrote and did other jobs too for years and years – I wasn’t a full-time writer until the year Chasing Vermeer came out. I feel very lucky to be able to write any time I want to now!

Unexpected things go into my writing… an article found in the newspaper, conversations I overhear, a person I see out a window or in a store, a place I visit, even dreams… they’re all a part of it. And daydreaming is essential, at any age. Our world moves so quickly that I think writers need to find ways to slow it down, often by thinking at times when it looks like they’re doing something else. Writers use everything.


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