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"A winner is a dreamer that never gives up." Nelson MandelaLast Saturday I had the opportunity to see Bryan Collier at the Dublin Literacy Conference. I'm always fascinated to listen to creators talk about their work. Bryan started out by asking the group, "How many writers are in the room?" A few hands raised, but I'm guessing there were truly more writers in the room. "How many of you have a story to tell?" he asked. "How many of you hope to get something published?"
"What are you doing about it?" he added, letting a long pause fall across the room.
His statement found its way into my head where it swirled for awhile. It bounced. It rested. It whispered. It shouted.
"What are you doing about it?"
His words replayed over and over in my head. What do we do about our dreams? Dreaming is one thing, working to make it happen is quite another. Bryan shared how he went from publisher to publisher for seven years trying to get his work out there, but was turned down repeatedly. He never gave up. He went back again and again until he made it happen. Now he keeps quite busy.
- Check out his gallery here. (my personal favorite: Circle of Daddy's Arms)
- Check out all of his books here. (WOWZA!)
Some of Bryan's powerful words:
- "Words saved him." in reference to Dave the Potter.
- "If you are planting seeds, what's going to come up?"
- "The space between the words and the story is left for the reader."
- "There's some joy coming in the morning if you hold on." in sharing the story behind Knock, Knock. (You should really stop by to watch this video. The picture book story originates here in this Def Jam Poem by Daniel Beaty)
- "The voice is in you. It's powerful, but you have to listen."