Many creatives know right from birth what their creative bents are and what careers they will be pursuing.
Other folks may be aware of their creative leanings, but they just assume they might not be able to make a living with that, and pursue more practical careers. In later years, when life slows down and children are older and have left home, there’ll be fewer responsibilities and more time to pursue and develop creative bents.
This is why many children’s books authors are older people.
They may have known all along that this was something they wanted to pursue, but it wasn’t until now that they had the time or resources to pursue that. When raising their children, there were the responsibilities and time restraints of school and work. Now grandchildren have arrived when there’s more time, and with them comes a terrific and unending source of book material and inspiration. Some parents also keep a running journal while their kids are growing up as a memory keeper and also for an idea source to draw from for later writings. (Remember to change the names to protect the innocent when pulling material from that!)
So after years of taking care of all the sensible, important and necessary things in life, it’s time to have some fun and do some of that “playing” all those flighty creatives do!
Life goes through different seasons, and the season of later life is generally a time when people start winding down and taking life slower. It’s exciting if, when this season arrives, you have this wonderful new activity to pursue! It will breathe new energy into your heart and mind, and you’ll have a million and one thoughts about all the projects you want to start … you know the first project you’ll tackle, because just last week that cute little grandson of yours did the darndest thing … it’s so exciting to finally get to do this!!
No matter how cute and funny your grandson is, don’t expect that you’ll plop down in front of that lap top and pound out masterpiece that will wow the world in a quick hour or two. Things like that happen, but they are flukes, and not the norm ...
Who will your audience be? Is it a picture book? Is it a short story for a children’s online or printed magazine? A tale to be printed in your town newspaper? Will it be read aloud at the library?
From what point of view will you tell the story? Will it be narrated? Will the main character tell it? Will it be told from the point of view of another character?
How will you open the story? How will you end it? Is the ending satisfying? Is it abrupt? Did you tie up all the loose ends? Does it leave the readers asking questions and wanting more?
When all those questions are answered, write out that first draft.
Then it’s time for edting. Editing is about much more than just proper grammar, punctuation and misspelled words ...
Is your story told in past, present or future tense? Is the narration consistent throughout the telling … i.e. first person throughout, third person throughout, etc. Are characters and settings consistent throughout the story? Do the ways characters talk and act accurately match their personalities? Do they talk and act naturally? Are all loose ends tied up? Is the reader left wondering anything? i.e., what finally happened to the neighbor’s dog on page 12?
It’s valuable to take courses on writing, but, honestly, the best way to learn how to write, is to simply write!
It won’t take long for you to find out that writing is hard work! But things in life that are the hardest, usually turn out to be the most rewarding things …
But you already knew that, because you’ve always been one of those sensible, normal people!