I started writing and illustrating in 2011. Nothing about my writing has been a fast process. It’s more of a creative dabbling. My creative work is something I’ve always done out of pure enjoyment. I felt unsure about titling my projects as “work” or a “job”. There was never a schedule or timeframe, it has always been putting pencil to paper when an idea wouldn’t leave my head. After completing about five manuscripts and starting the process of illustrating two of them, I decided, I needed some direction. Where do I go next?
In 2015, I joined SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators). I attended conferences and connected with other writers and illustrators. It was a wonderful experience! I honed in on what I still needed to learn and soaked in all the information that I could. I was able to look at my manuscripts and projects with fresh eyes. It was an inspiration on every level.
After critiquing and submitting my stories for a year, I was made very aware of how hard the children’s book industry is to break into, especially as a rhymer, especially as a mediocre illustrator. I separated my work, I just submitted manuscripts. I was spending all my spare time researching publishing companies and creating query letters. It wasn’t fun. I lost the time to create, but I kept going with it. Finally, I had a heart to heart with myself. I make these stories for my children, for my husband, for my family and friends. I decided a final project with all my mediocre illustrations and my words—all the LOVE and time I’d put in these stories—would be much more meaningful to me and to them.
In 2017, the SCBWI offered a self publishing mentorship for a picture book writer + illustrator with Wisconsin author, Jeanne Styczinski. I applied. I wanted it so bad, it made me tear up just thinking about it. I found out right before Christmas that I WON! Best. Christmas. Present. Ever. Through out 2018, I started Missy Mittel Publishing and published my debut children’s book, MEET MACK-MACK, THE LITTLE LUMBERJACK. A book created in my very own way and encapsulating every reason I love this silly hobby of mine.
Sharing my stories with others is a dream. My end goal is gifting people I love with stories inspired by them. I hope others will enjoy my stories too. Most importantly, I want to share a message to always follow a path of inspiration and happiness. Even if the path is long. Even if you only follow your path in the very limited spare minutes of life. Find something that brings you joy and pursue it!
Thank you for your interest in what I do!