"This is my first time at an SCBWI conference."
"This is my first writing conference."
"I am working on my first novel."
"I am illustrating my first picture book.
"Today I read my work out loud in front of people for the first time"
Even I'm qualified to tweet out a first. I'm typing this post with shaky fingers, hoping that my first time blogging for an SCBWI conference has been satisfactory for readers.
According to Tami Charles' keynote speech last night, despite the success she has as a published author, the first time she attended an SCBWI conference, her fears made her sweat.
It is no doubt that firsts can be scary. But. Trying something new will always be ripe with opportunity. Beginning a new journey, and traveling a road you don't often take will certainly feed your curiosity, scratch the What if itch, and--at the very least--work your confidence muscle a bit.
But in order to achieve a first, you must be brave enough to start. Whether you have attended your first conference, logged onto Zoom for the first time, or simply considered a new story idea this weekend, you are one step further into a journey most people are too afraid to take. This sort of bravery should always be celebrated.
And tonight, as we close out this magnificent winter conference, I would like to end this post with a quote from another important first this year--our first woman Vice-President, Kamala Harris. In her first post-election address to the nation Vice-President Harris said,
"While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last."
Let us be reminded that, while this may be a weekend full of firsts, as long as we honor the craft of writing, and put children first in our stories and in our hearts--our firsts will never be our last. There will always be more to come."