October 06, 2021Spreading the Fun

I find it totally ironic that someone who has never written a children’s book is now posting articles on a website to tell other people how to write a children’s book.

Well … let’s say “never written a children’s book that was published”. Because I have written a few that are hidden away in a closet. And I’ve got a few still tucked away inside my head. I’ve illustrated books that are published, but I’ve yet to author one.

Then I got this awesome new toy that is my website and proceeded to fill it up with articles all about printing and drawing and publishing and how to make a picture book all pretty and fancy. But picture books have words, too … well, I don’t really know too much about that. I’ll come back to that later.

So I continued to make more and more articles all about printing and drawing and publishing and how to make a picture book all pretty and fancy … but picture books have words, too … well, darn … I can’t avoid it forever, because, like I said, picture books have words, too. Pooh.

I started attending workshops. Monthly meetings of writing organizations I belong to moved online, courtesy of Covid, so there’s no more excuses not to attend. I got out books and publications I’ve collected over the years and re-read them. I found other children’s book artists and writers on YouTube and social media outlets and tuned in and followed them to see what they had to say.

I’m mostly drawn to non-fiction when I read for pleasure, so I’ve made a concerted effort to read more fiction. And I find that as I read what others have written, I’m noticing how they weave their stories together, how they present their characters, how they wrap it all up at the end, and how the skills and knowledge that are being taught through the workshops and classes are being applied in real works by real writers.

Writing for children isn’t much different from writing for any other genre. You have to tailor the writing to suit your audience, of course, but writing for any genre has to be adapted to the needs of the target audience.

So finally I got up the nerve to do it … my first article focused entirely on writing, Arranging Words, is up.

I doubt it’ll win any awards. On the other hand, it’s not terrible either.

I’m actually rather proud of myself, though I know in months or years hence I’ll likely look back and cringe. I suspect that the first decade of having a website is spent filling it up. Then the next decade might be spent re-writing it all!

It doesn’t really matter, because I did learn something that self-publishers may find valuable … especially first-timers …

Nothing earth-shattering … something they already know …

Go ahead and just do it.

You can worry and fret and feel inadequate and not up to the task … and end up with nothing to show for it.

Or …

You can worry and fret and feel inadequate and not up to the task, and go ahead and just do it anyway … and end up feeling a bit better about it all. You'll have something to show for it and find out how much fun that was.

Since you’re going to worry and fret anyway, make it count!

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  • Sandy McClure says:
    2021-10-08, 10:19:01
    You sell yourself short; you have a gift for arranging words! You need to get those books off the shelf and get them out there! You're a great writer.
    But you also know how to arrange words on the page in a way that packs a punch, and enhances the meaning. I think that skill is often over-looked. In the three books you've illustrated for me, I've been blown away at how you placed the words, and of course the pictures, to engage the reader and make it memorable.
    Oh, thank you, Sandy! So kind ... - Sherry A Mitcham
  • BILL MITCHAM says:
    2021-10-06, 19:15:03
  • Dixie Cooley says:
    2021-10-06, 04:14:09
    Good read. Thank you.