Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

What’s Your Spring Resolution?

By Heather Phan

We’re counting down, kidlits! The SCBWI Southern Breeze Spring Mingle 2023 conference is just over a week away, and registration closes this Saturday, March 18th, so be sure to get your name on the list soon for a great day of industry insights, craft expertise, networking opportunities, and a host of professional support and enhancement opportunities.


I’m going to write more this year. I’m going to spend Saturday mornings sketching and developing my characters and setting ideas. I’m going to explore different types of poetic meter and figure out—finally!—what rhymes with orange.


Let’s talk resolutions. The vernal (or spring) equinox will be Monday, March 20th, this year, and we can’t imagine a better day to celebrate the renewal, restoration, or refinement of ourselves, our habits and goals, or the meaning that we assign to our lives. New Year’s resolutions are familiar territory, but some believe that the best time to make improvements is when the weather—along with one’s outlook—might fall on the sunnier side of life. May we suggest the spring resolution, a kinder, gentler, and generally more chipper cousin to the OG N.Y.R.  Winter is a time to bundle up and hunker down with the warm beverage or comfort food of your choice, a favorite book, TV show, game, or puzzle, and enjoy a snuggle. The wee hours of the year may not be the best time generally to mull over the state of our professional lives or make grand plans for self-improvement—at least let us finish that bag of Halloween candy hidden in the bottom drawer of the desk! Once spring has sprung, though, it is time to do some spring cleaning, so save your closets for now and let’s start with your career! Read on for a few suggestions to help you develop your own spring resolutions and move your kidlit career forward this year.


Create a strategic plan. Strategic planning is not just for corporations; it’s also a process that you can use to chart or shape the scope, pace, and trajectory of your kidlit career. There are as many plans as there are paths, and giving some thought to the best one for you will be well worth your time. Advice abounds, as in this article on strategic plans for writers on LinkedIn; this one on strategies for improvement at The Writing Cooperative; this one on taking control of your writing career from Writer’s Digest; and this one on seven actionable steps to becoming a full-time writer from Reedsy.


Take risks. Yes, we mean reasonable risks, and acknowledge right here, right now that reasonable means different things to different people. That said, taking creative and intellectual risks—even small ones—can yield large rewards. But what do we mean by risks? Take a look at Psychology Today’s Creativity Requires Taking Risks, NEA contributor Dan Blank’s On Risk in Writing, The Write Practice’s Kellie McGann on Why You Should Be a Writing Risk Taker, Two Writing Teachers’ Risk-taking in the Writer’s Notebook or How I Found Inspiration By Taking Risks by Page Flutter’s Megan Rutell for different definitions and thoughts on the practice of creative risk-taking.


Keep moving. Keep learning, growing, and developing your career (hint, hint) and, for good measure, take a look at that classic on negotiating change in your life, Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson, M.D., for a clever and entertaining approach to adapting to an ever-changing world.


Now, if you did make any New Year’s resolutions then we applaud you and fully support your efforts. Go, You, go! Don’t give up! You can do it! Believe in yourself! No pain, no gain! Only one-hundred-and-forty-seven-and-a-half more to go! No, no, don’t wait for us; you go ahead; we’ll catch up sometime after sunrise!


And, if one of your resolutions happens to be to invest more in your professional development this year then we can help you check that box right now! Let’s call this one your spring mingle resolution.


Whatever your resolutions may be, we wish you luck, and whatever your path, the SCBWI is here to support and guide you on your journey.


Have any questions about the SCBWI Southern Breeze Spring Mingle 2023 conference on Saturday, March 25th? Email the Southern Breeze leadership team at


p.s. What rhymes with orange? It’s sporange. Really.