Image by Mona Loldwoman (Look for the good) via FlickrI’m thinking of writing a book someday. Yes, I think about this all the time. Everywhere I go I’m always meeting authors or editors. I have so many ideas and stories that I want to share with you. Then I feel overwhelmed because I don’t know where to begin. Have you felt that way before?
I have received some good advice along the way. Mostly I meet well-disciplined folks who set aside the block of time to write every day. I come from a family of teachers and they are always reading books. I love to read also and find the time to read wonderful children’s stories to my grandsons before their bedtime when I am with them.
Perhaps you are one who has always kept a journal. I find that writing helps one to get out their feelings more and more and to just go with your feeling and try to express them at that moment.
I find that others are perfectionists and just can’t seem to begin writing, kind of like “writer’s block.” The fear of getting started can be crippling for some and their struggles of rejection. I always try to encourage those sensitive writers with the idea that publisher's are rejecting your ideas, not you. Get back in the saddle, re-write another manuscript for submission.
I have no expectations placed upon myself, I just write a little every day, maybe 1,000 words a day and really that’s not very much. Once I get started writing, I begin to see that this discipline now helps me to be organized. Sometimes I sketch out my ideas and go back and fill things in with more detail.
Some folks are highly gifted and born with such great writing skills. I’m not trying to be another Harry Potter author. I love the fact that there is freedom in writing about something that you're passionate about and putting your vision or twist on it. You are uniquely you and it’s your story to tell.
I spend my time sifting through ideas for my children’s book. I think about morals and the theme of the story. Am I trying to teach a child a lesson and the consequences of his choices or am I writing about a character having a large conflict and how does he resolve it?
When you research ideas for children’s books don’t be discouraged if you discover that someone else has already written about your ideas and they are published! Dig deeper and see if you can put a different spin on it.
It does take some time to write out your plot. I’m always thinking of what the audience can relate to. I know that there are tons of books on the market for children regarding their love for animals. So, that takes a different twist and turn in your future writing because animal stories are so highly overly done. Will you choose a magical land where your animal characters talk with one another or keep it real and practical? Find something unique to write about, keeping in mind that publicists read at least 2,000 children's books a day.
After I write something down on paper, I choose to read it out loud afterwards and see where the story line is going. I’m usually looking for more tension in the story plot, like how can things go from bad to real bad? And then, when did the story draw me in as a reader? Hopefully from the beginning!
I personally try to focus on events that can happen in my story for a certain age group that the reader will understand. Mostly for me that age group can be from 4 years old – 8 years old. I try to draw a clear picture for my reader to follow because my goal is to hook them in. At the same time, I need to keep everything simple because children’s attention span is limited.
True stories that cause a universal connection with everyone seem to be the winners. I love reading about how someone has overcome their life’s challenges. Writing a children’s book that stands out and shines above the others takes lots of hard work and effort.
So, for now, I just keep writing and want to pass along this encouragement to others. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever get my book completed. Completing a manuscript and celebrating the journey along the way would be a marvelous goal to aspire to. In the meantime, give it a go and just begin scribbling random words and thoughts on the napkin near you. So you want to write a book? You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by writing your book! Yes, that's what I want to do!