The Underdog?


By Larissa Juliano

 Katy finished up the side streets. So traffic could move in and out around the city.
Then she went home to rest. Then…and only then did Katy stop.
~Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton

            Desperation. Not wanting to give up. Does my work matter? Am I enough?

What is this feeling? The feeling that can’t seem to contain these words and images and ideas that I want to shout from the rooftops? Or, how Katy can’t sit still as the snow piles on, until finally the Highway Department gives her the go-ahead! Go Katy, go! Is this what authors feel when they decide…they DETERMINE, I am going to make my words KNOWN… I am going to plow the snow! Desperate? Vulnerable and brave for sure….and most definitely, accessible to others. Because that is how I feel when I write…excited and eager, but really super vulnerable.

Writing is so personal. Whether it is a poem depicting elements in a season, or short stories about motherhood, descriptions of nature and the thoughts and associations that go along with it. Funny? Funny is HARD to write. Is it really funny, or just to me? What about writing that is weird, dark, scary or morbid?

Words come from our hearts to our minds to our fingertips to people’s eyes. Our innermost thoughts that most often WE don’t even understand, become available for the world to see- and we choose to do that! This is not our diary tucked under our pillow from the emotional middle school years…Writing for the world and sending our sketchy, fractured, awesome, manuscripts means opening ourselves up in such a different way.

Through this experience of being an indie author (and an aspiring traditionally published author)- I have gained such a deeper sense of empathy for writers and what it means to expose ourselves and hope for some kind of response- any response really! Acknowledgment perhaps that our work is getting noticed. Am I plowing enough snow? Did I make a difference?

Boy, the market is competitive. So many ridiculously creative, ingenious and innovative authors – like, where do they get their ideas from? How to compete? I suppose ultimately, as I’ve shared on previous posts, if our writing touches peoples lives in some way- whether it’s our family, our kids, students, friends, and more…if a child feels like they connected to your story, that their voice was heard, that they saw themselves in your story- well, that is what keeps me going. 🙂

PS- I totally could’ve referenced Mike Mulligan by Virginia Lee Burton as well, and Maybelle. And The Little House. LOVE HER.

She is a master at supporting “the underdogs”.




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