Kids sometimes ask me what inspires me to write. Usually I say it’s them. I’m inspired by readers who enjoy my books, and they make me want to keep writing. But there is another motivation, too. There are my Snoopy moments.
It’s a favorite Charlie Brown cartoon. In the first scene, Snoopy is sitting on the roof of his dog house, typing away. Then he’s flat on his back, kicking his feet in the air, clearly ecstatic. In the final scene, Snoopy says, “I love it when I write something that I know is good.”
I’ve had that feeling. For each book, I write and revise and write some more. Trying to draw out the ideas and the best words from my head onto the page is a slow and often difficult process. Every so often, I write a scene or some dialogue or a brief description that I know is exactly right. When this happens, I feel the same way Snoopy does. I don’t flop on the floor and kick my feet in the air, but I do nod my head and smile at the computer screen and sometimes even feel goosebumps on my arms.
Snoopy moments are the best part of writing, but they only happen when I’m seated at the keyboard working on a manuscript. Like most good things in life, Snoopy moments must be earned.