Dempsey traveled all the way from Brazil to present at #LA15SCBWI, where she shared the journey of figuring herself out as a creative person, finding herself as a writer, and becoming published (and how not to have a nervous breakdown while waiting). The answer, in short: learn how to balance the business side of children's publishing with the creative.
On the business side, she advised, study the vast amout of information online. Websites like the Nerdy Book Club, A Fuse #8 Production, Matthew Winner's Let's Get Busy Podcasts and others.
On the creative side, Dempsey offered a wonderfully illustrated, hand lettered worksheet (some pages used below with permission).