Phyllis Root on writing
I have been writing since at least second grade and, thanks to a wonderful fifth grade teacher, knew I wanted to be a writer from the time I was ten years old. But classes about writing were thin on the ground when I was in school, so after I graduated I worked a lot of different jobs just to pay the bills: bike mechanic, costume seamstress, administrative assistant to name a few. Whenever I tried to write in my free time, though, I came up against my own inability to shape a story. Finally, I confessed to a friend that I really wanted to write for children, and she told me about a class I could take. The class taught me that there are tools of writing -- a revelation to me -- and also that we must write from our hearts about what matters most to us. I started writing for children in 1979 and haven’t stopped since.