This is my favorite picture of Greta. Sarah White created illustrations I have fallen in love with. I love how she see's these characters.
I've been asked by friends and my children if Greta is me. Greta began as me, but she quickly became someone different. Greta decided she would not be me, and that I could write fiction. Now, she's going out there to be seen so I can practice being seen, too.
I love this story so much that I don't care if no one else likes it. Greta is insecure and she does an unkind thing which she cannot summon the courage to make amends for. I do quake, like Greta in her lion costume, when I think of retired teachers reading this book. I envision them reading with their red pens out and fainting with disgust at my poorly formed sentences.
My promise to myself as a writer, though, is this: I will not sacrifice emotion for grammar rules. I used to be one of those people who couldn't breath when I saw grammar errors. I used to judge and roll my eyes. Then, I became a writer, and I did not have the energy to poor any effort into stressing over grammar, or reading Facebook posts twenty-five times to make sure there were no its where there should be it's or run-on sentences. When I became a writer, I learned, though I thought I had already known, the art of seeing the substance of words rather than the scrupulousness of their delivery. I learned to be less afraid of mistakes right when people turned a more critical eye toward my words.
Declare yourself to be anything in this world and just see what happens. Do not fear the critics. Don't even hear them. That is what I tell myself. But then, I also tell myself to not take the praise to heart. These things are challenging. I like challenges. So does Greta, so that she has learned to face her fears. I hope you will read her story.
Here's to courage.