What’s the FORCE Behind Your Work? Part 2, by Team EPA SCBWI

It’s May, it’s Tuesday, the Pocono Retreat is only 3 days away! So let’s keep the ball rolling with our opening night previews. We can’t wait to hear about the FORCE that drives your work on Friday night!

2016 headshot
by Alison Green Myers
Co-Regional Advisor



Force of Habit. Duh, right?
Get my butt in a chair… 
Sit there until words bleed out and onto the page. 

Seems simple enough.
The butt, the bleeding.
The time ticking.
Maybe it is just me, but creating this habit is anything but simple. I had to call on some pretty powerful forces to help create this habit. First would be my writing partner Kim (Kim Force?) Without our daily appointments to write, without her texting “GO”, I would let other parts of my life take over my writing time. But Kim won’t let that happen. Not on her watch! We make appointments and stick to them,
even in the face of sick kids,
work deadlines,
or even Project Runway finales, we write.

Along with the powerful motivator of appointments and “GO”, Kim and I also talk about books… A LOT. We are both compulsive readers. It helps to talk out plots, share new authors, and celebrate story with Kim Force. Reading keeps me going, keeps the fire lit inside me to create. Talk about Force.


I had this friend in college, Gale. She was one of the smartest, most tenacious people that I had ever met. And, as we do in college, she had a nickname: Gale Force. It was so fitting, much like Hairy Mike or Tall Mark. The name stuck because Gale was a force of nature.

She was powerful in a way that energized those around her and I was lucky enough to get swept up in her winds. Forces of nature are like that, aren’t they? Bold. Quick. Sweeping. In my work I have to be bold and get swept up in story. I channel Gale’s force when I sit at my computer or journal. I want to be fearless and write without doubt. It isn’t easy to hush that voice inside, but when the FORCE is mighty enough, I silence my inner critic and keep going… keep going… keep going.


There’s a great line in THE FORCE AWAKENS: “As long as there’s light, we’ve got a chance.” This quote encompasses the WILL of my work.

A few years back at Pocono we were asked to write down our belief statements as writers or illustrators. In bold letters at the top of my journal I wrote:
I believe there is good in the world. 
I believe in strong women. 
I believe in finding the light.
I believe our bodies are vessels, what we do with them matters more than their sizes. These vessels are meant to create change and face fears. 

Fast forward to this year, I could just as easily say the FORCE of WILL in my work is to create strong female characters and find light in the dark side. This is THE FORCE at work.

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4 Responses to What’s the FORCE Behind Your Work? Part 2, by Team EPA SCBWI

  1. Steven Silbiger says:

    Love, love, love this. May the Force be with you! May the Force be at your back!

  2. I can’t make it to the retreat but it is so inspiring to me to read all these wonderful words. Thanks.

  3. Molly Lorenz says:

    …”I believe in strong women”. YES!
    and I believe in PASCBWI and its leaders.
    This is the first year since I joined SCBWI that I won’t be attending the Pocono conference.
    I will miss everyone.

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