Guest Post: Hannah Blatter – Dreams of a writer/illustrator

Hannah Blatter is beginning her journey as an author of children’s books. I was enamored with her personal story and hope it warms your heart too. Over to Hannah:

***

Hannah Blatter

In early 2019, I was diagnosed with panic disorder. It took me 10 years to make that step to seek help and receive an official diagnosis. When this happened, I felt like I was inferior, as a mother, as a wife, as a human being. I had these moments, hours, weeks, when I didn’t think I would ever reach my goals. I felt like I wasn’t good enough. Like other people can handle this, but I can’t.

My son was 6 years old at the time, and I did not want to feel like I failed him. I didn’t want him to have high hopes and dreams and not go after them if he ever had a mental or physical illness. I never wanted him to feel like he was not good enough no matter what diagnoses he carried.

“In Colorado, you can ride a dinosaur with a saddle”

 

“You could also raft the Zambezi river with a paddle”

I have always had a background in art, working with design and illustrations. I wanted to give my son something, to show him that if there is something he wants to do, it’s possible. I had this idea stirring in my head from working with young children in my job.

When you ask them what they want to do when they grow up, they always say “a firefighter, doctor, mermaid!” and so on. Well, it’s wonderful that they have headway on their careers, however, what about what they want to see? Where do they want to go? There is so much in this world, why not open up their little minds to how much more there is.

I want my son to get the message that if you want to write a book or direct a movie, you can find resources to help you do that. If you want to drive on the longest bridge on earth, there are things you can do to make it happen. It’s okay to be vulnerable. It’s okay to be scared to do these things. It’s okay to say you’re scared to do these things. And most importantly, it’s okay to ask for help.

“You can go sing on Broadway and learn how to dance”

 

“Or, you can feel like royalty when you stay at a castle in France.”

We all have our limitations, mentally, emotionally, physically. We have limitations in our knowledge, in our relationships, and in our environments. If we all gave in to our limitations, nobody would ever get anything done. It’s okay to accept these things and ask for help to work with them and around them.

So I am asking, graciously, for help to gain access to tools that will give me the ability to show my son that these things I say to him are true. I want to walk into a bookstore with him and see our book. I can say “Look, I get scared, I get upset. I am different. But, I can still do this, and so can you.”

“You could just watch the stars from a Cappadocia hot air balloon”

***

A question from Hannah for any children’s authors and illustrators:

What was the most difficult roadblock you overcame in publishing your first children’s book?
I’d love to hear your tips or advice.
Thank you!

Connect with Hannah on Instagram: @blatterhannah

And Merry Christmas!

pixabay

 

132 thoughts on “Guest Post: Hannah Blatter – Dreams of a writer/illustrator

  1. I talk a lot about the subject of creative inspiration on my own blog, but this post is a nice reminder that inspiration isn’t merely limited to artistic influences (authors, filmmakers, etc.); oftentimes it’s the people we love who endow our creative pursuits with all the inspiration they require.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So true! I think at heart we are creators, the legacy of our biggish brains. All we need is the spark and that can come from so many places. Hannah lives near me and she’s a sweetheart in addition to being immensely talented. 😀 Thanks for the kind comment, Sean.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a beautiful and inspiring read, Diana and the pictures are so cute. Thanks for the wonderful share.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My son is 6 years old now and about 2 years ago it really just hit me hard that I wasn’t being good to myself. When you’re in mom mode ALL THE TIME everybody else gets priority.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hannah Blatter says:

      you are completly understanding of what it’s like sometimes being a mom. It’s scary, exhausting, wonderful, and their are feelings for it that can’t be explained because the words don’t exist. My son teaches me to be a better person everyday, and to love myself unconditionaly the way he loves me.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much for sharing, Maritza. We can’t draw water from an empty well, right? I think that one of the best gifts we can give to our kids is our own happiness. By taking care of ourselves we show them how to do the same. I hope your new year is a joyous one for both of you. 🙂

      Like

    • Thanks so much for sharing, Maritza. We can’t draw water from an empty well, right? I think that one of the best gifts we can give to our kids is our own happiness. By taking care of ourselves we show them how to do the same. I hope your new year is a joyous one for both of you. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Stephanae says:

    This is such a moving piece thank you for sharing Hannah’s story she is absolutely brilliant and more importantly authentic! One of the reasons I like following people like Brene Brown is because they understand that vulnerability is universal. I think nearly all of us can relate to this: “Look, I get scared, I get upset. I am different. But, I can still do this, and so can you.”

    Hannah, your artwork and this idea of limitlessness are amazing!! Keep doing you!! 💓

    Liked by 1 person

  5. parkermccoy says:

    You’re being an excellent role model for your son without a doubt. It’s funny. We all have our limitations but when you really want to do something bad enough and continuously try and ask for help, people tend to get behind you. I think it’s just naturally something that comes out like, ‘You know what? I want to see them achieve’ and so they help. I love the drawings, too. Absolutely stunning. Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I enjoyed reading Hannah’s story and her desire to help children realize their full potential. The illustrations are charming!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Annika Perry says:

    Hannah, you are an inspiration! 😀 What huge achievements and through your book giving others so much needed courage and joy! The illustrations are a delight. Best of luck with your book and here’s to many more!

    Diana, it’s been wonderful to meet Hannah on your post … wishing you both a magical Christmas! Xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much for stopping by, Annika. Hannah’s story of courage and hope and perseverance seemed like a good one for the holidays. Thanks for the holiday wishes. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and beautiful new year. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hannah Blatter says:

      Your kindness warms my heart! Especially during this cold season. When you are the creator of something it’s so easy to find all its faults. Even having this few amount of people love my work is humbling, and my son inspired the illustrations, so I know its worth it. Thank you so much Annika for taking a moment to read my story.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Teri Polen says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your story, Hannah. I love the idea for your book and your illustrations are wonderful!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. kevin cooper says:

    What an awful disorder to have. Anyway, LOVE those illustrations. Hope Hannah does well with them. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. michnavs says:

    Oh Di, this is such a lovely share…and Hannah is such a gift..a gift to her son and to all those little girls and boys who dream of reaching the world far beyond their imagination..i love that she emphasized the idea of vulnerability..that it is okay to be vulnerable it should not hinder us from doing what we wanted to do.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Jan Sikes says:

    What a beautiful soul! Hannah’s story is both uplifting and inspiring! Thank you for sharing, Diana!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Jina Bazzar says:

    So many positive thoughts, Diana. I don’t write children books, and I don’t have panic attacks, but I do have my anxieties and uncertainties, as well as my own obstacles as a blind author. And I too, want to set a good example to my children and let them know that nothing is impossible. Step by step, Hannah, no matter how small, if there’s persistence, you’ll get there.
    Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Mae Clair says:

    A very inspirational post. A friend of mine has a teen daughter who has just started suffering panic attacks. I never realized how debilitating they can be, or that they cans start at such a young age.

    Hats off to Hannah for pursuing her dream. Wishing her all the best with her book!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by, Mae. I’m so sorry to hear about your friend’s daughter. Hopefully they are seeking help. As Hannah shows us all, there’s plenty of hope, and a bit of help and some courage goes a long way. Happy Holidays. I hope you’re getting in some seasonal fun. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  14. How I love this post – as a writer of children’s books (and women’s fiction, just as scary in many ways), as a “functioning” introvert, as a mom and grandmother, and as a human being. We all have hurtles to overcome to BE and DO what we aspire to. Your book is beautiful inside and out. For me? My first children’s book was written when I was pregnant with my son. I held onto it (hidden in my file drawer) and didn’t come to light (and publication) until my son was 36. So, no matter how long it takes to have the courage and heart to show our inspiration and aspirations, it matters not. Some things come at their own time, which is then the right time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re so full of wisdom, Pam. What lovely encouragement and kindness, always. I remember your blog post that talked about how long your book sat in a drawer. And now you have two children’s books. Hannah is wonderfully talented and determined, and I know she’ll do well. Thanks for the visit and Happy Holidays, my friend. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hannah Blatter says:

      Thank you so much. I really enjoy reading others people’s stories and the steps….and years….it takes. So thank you so much for sharing and hopefully you will be hearing more from me.

      Liked by 2 people

  15. petespringerauthor says:

    I love everything about Hannah’s post. Acknowledging that we all have fears is essential to recognize. It’s okay to be scared, and when we overcome fear, it empowers us. It can be anything from learning to swim to public speaking. If we don’t allow fear to control our lives, we will be much happier. It is stories like Hannah’s that will help get rid of the stigma of feeling inferior about mental health.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for the encouraging comment, Pete. I was touched by Hannah’s story and I’m so glad she took me up on the blog post. Publishing is an uphill journey, but so much easier when we tap the well of courage and don’t let fear get in the way. Happy Holidays!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Mark Brown says:

    I have been one of your fans the emoment I first saw your work. I felt I had to be careful as not to seem too interested, did not want to come off as creepy. I believe in you, your gifts and talents. Glad to see you are moving in this direction… It is a blessing to many who love creativity and courage.. Blessings 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for reading the post, Mark, and for taking the time to comment. I’m also in awe of Hannah’s talent, and I’m delighted to have her here on my blog. She’s one of Vernonia’s rising stars. Happy Holidays!

      Like

  17. dgkaye says:

    This is a beautiful story. Amazing where our inspiration comes from and beautiful how Hannah turned her worries into a wonderful contributor of goodness for children. Happy holidays to Hannah and to you Diana ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  18. What an inspiring and talented mother your son has, Hannah! Keep encouraging him!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Hats off to Hannah, such a strong and gifted lady. I’m so glad she is moving ahead full steam. Her illustrations are sublime!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. KZ says:

    Don’t forget! He and you both always have his auntie over here, that is willing to help. I have overcome a lot and grown as a person too. I stepped outside my comfort zone, over and over again to get where I am now. I hope you find the resources you need outside of that to encourage you.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Thanks so much for sharing your inspiring personal story and wonderful illustrations from your book. ❤ Sharing and wishing you much success in all your endeavors, my new friend. Diana, thanks for introducing us to Hannah. Holiday blessings and Happy New Year all around!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Thank you for sharing your story, Hannah. I have anxiety most of my life. It’s from self imposed expectations. I took medication for sleeping, but I finally got rid of the med and use other means to help me go to sleep.

    I love you artworks and the children’s stories.

    What a great idea to overcome your fear and show your son he can do things and succeed.

    Thank you for hosting Hannah, Diana. I’m taking a blogging break because I’m still waiting for the Allergy Specialist to figure out what’s wrong with me.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family. 🌲

    Liked by 1 person

    • I knew you were on a break, Miriam, and so appreciate the visit. I hope your health challenges are figured out and resolved soon! Thanks for the kind comment and support for Hannah. She’s a lovely person and artist and is on her way. Have a wonderful Christmas, my friend. ❤

      Like

  23. Erik says:

    I am all for getting across to children the idea that life is about more than “what you want to be when you grow up” (i.e., career and work) but is also about who you want to be and what you want to do!

    Hannah, I’m not specifically a children’s writer, but given when you’ve shared about yourself here, I would say the biggest obstacle may be handling rejection. Just keep in mind that those viewing your work are just people, not gurus or gods. And often, their aim is to set themselves up to make the most money possible for their time. In itself, that’s fine; but it does result in going with “what made money before” rather than taking chances on something new. So before you get too far into the process, I’d recommend that you journal a bit about the types of things you’ve written for this post: who you wrote for (your son) and why, how proud you feel of what you’ve accomplished here, and whatever other big, positive feelings you have right now. Then reread them if a rejection letter gets you down.

    I was listening to Judy Blume talk about her career—and the huge number of people who turned her down, time after time, saying “It’s just not done like that.” And of course, Judy didn’t know at the beginning that she’d be anybody. She had self doubt. But she kept going, convinced in her purpose. And… well, here she is in her 80s, known the world over… and still writing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wise advice, Erik. I like the idea of writing down our dreams and successes when we’re in the midst of a high, because those rejections (which all of us experience) are gonna come our way. I’ve seen Hannah’s completed book, and it’s beautiful, vibrant, and full of positive feeling. I’m rooting for her, and this post is the least I can do. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, my friend. 🙂 Merry Christmas!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hannah Blatter says:

      Thanks for the advice, I definitely understand the side effects of being at my lowest, great idea on writing down the positives!

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Thank you, Hannah, for sharing your story and your illustrations. Wishing you the best of luck with your book. Don’t give up on your dream.

    Diana, thank you for sharing Hannah with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Thank you so much for sharing Hannah’s story and her amazing work, Diana. She is so talented! Each drawing is so expressive…I don’t know how she does it. It’s great to meet her!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Diana, thanks for this introduction to Hannah.
    Hannah, kudos on everything you’ve done. I know how hard those first steps are. It took me at least that long to address my “panic disorder with agoraphobia.” I couldn’t manage to get started about it until I was no longer able to work — also in early 2019. My scars (and me) are quite old, so I know I have a long road ahead to make any progress. I’m trying to be patient with myself and not give up on therapy, now that I’ve finally gotten started. All that to say that I understand. As I say “I’m not complaining, just explaining.” 🙂
    Wishing you huge success in everything you do. Hugs on the wing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re an inspiration too, Teagan. So outgoing and successful! You’re a blogging social whiz kid. Thanks for your kind comment here today. Happy Holidays, my friend. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hannah Blatter says:

      Teagan, I am constantly surprised by the amount of people affected by this and what it takes to overcome it, seeking therapy was a huge help for me and I really hope it is for you too we definitely find our strengths speaking about this and not being afraid to say this is what’s happening, I need your help. Thanks for taking moment to read my story and for sharing yours.

      Liked by 2 people

  27. Hannah’s story is both powerful and encouraging. I like and agree with this, “And most importantly, it’s okay to ask for help.” Thank you Diana for sharing Hannah’s story, and her outstanding artwork! I wish her the best with her publishing efforts. Wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful holiday season, my friend. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Hi Diana, thanks for sharing Hannah’s inspiring message and beautiful illustrations. And thank you Hannah for your vulnerability and courage. Yes, we all have limitations. I’ve let mine rule for too long. You’ve inspired me to step up my game. Best wishes on writing and publishing your children’s book. I love your illustrations and know many people would be touched by your message and art.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Tessa says:

    Diana – thank you for sharing Hannah’s story and
    Hannah – my hat’s off to you for fighting to overcome your limitations and showing your son that he can be or do anything he wants. Your artwork is beautiful and I wish you much success ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  30. D.L. Finn, Author says:

    Beautiful images along with a powerful message. We do have to trust and keep going even with our limitations. My biggest challenge was finally self publishing and all the learning that came with it. Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. I am sorry about Hannah’s diagnosis. Our modern world is very overwhelming and lots of people suffer from anxiety disorders of varying intensities. I will be hosting a children’s authors and illustrators series of posts in March/April 2020. I am happy to host Hannah if she is interested. My publisher TSL Publications does children’s books. Anne is very good and doesn’t charge any upfront amounts. She is in the UK though which mightn’t suite Hannah.

    Liked by 2 people

  32. You have an unusual gift, Hannah, in your art. Few can create children’s images that are so powerful.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. mistermuse says:

    Beautiful work by a beautiful (in all ways) writer/illustrator. My wife is a retired teacher, and I put children’s authors and/or illustrators in the same “class” as teachers in the pantheon of noble callings.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. balroop2013 says:

    Thanks for sharing Hannah’s inspiring story Diana. All is okay till we know our imperfections and work on them to get our self-esteem back. Self-help is a gift we give ourselves. Wishing her great success on her path of being a writer/ illustrator.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Seth Cason says:

    Hannah, as someone who also battles anxiety and panic, I truly appreciate you sharing your experience. Sometimes one person’s story is more inspiring and empowering than a warehouse loaded with pills; already I feel better, so thank you. You’ve got a great career ahead of you and I wish you the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Sending hugs. Thank you for sharing your story. Your artwork is amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

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