The past few weeks I’ve been experiencing a mental growth spurt of sorts. Yep! I’ve been growing leaps and bounds by reading everything I can about writing for children, and reading some great children’s literature–mostly illustrated storybooks for ages three to five! (Hey, it’s not boring at all!) I have also been honing my skills in drawing, designing scenes, and painting again, using my water colors and pen and ink. This has been the fun part. After taking a long break from painting for more than ten years, I am finding it a great reconnect with my heart and mind and I reckon it’s better therapy than a visit to a psychiatrist! (Smile!)
This ‘growth spurt’ has been an exciting time for me. The quiet time at my desk and computer has give me reflection time that I probably wouldn’t have taken, especially considering that my usual work absorbed so much of my time and mental capacities. Since resigning from my role as Director of Women’s Ministries, at BEE World, a role that I had for almost 10 years, I am finding a new way of existence. NOT being consumed twenty-four/seven with ‘stuff’ is liberating on a number of levels. However, on other levels, I sometimes feel like a captain without a ship. I sometimes wonder if this is just a phase, or whether it is genuinely something the Lord has directed me to–for my own good–and for the benefit of those young readers out there, who are just waiting to see my books! (I smile again.)
Along with this kid’s lit reading spurt, I have also added listening to some great pod-casts hosted by various authors and illustrators–all on the theme of–you guessed it–writing for children. A whole new world has opened up to me since I boldly declared my New Year’s resolution for 2014: To write and illustrate a storybook for my grandchildren. And what fun it has been!
One BIG thing I am learning from other authors and illustrators is that there is a generous spirit of sharing and caring for aspiring children’s writers (like me); those who are new to this whole process, and those already acquainted with the field of writing. Everywhere I turn, I find ‘encouragers’: people with great expertise who are willing to pass it on to others who are hungry for it. There seems to exist a wonderful community of writers out there in cyber space (in real space and time too!) who willingly share their knowledge and resources with others, and much of it for free! For this I am a beneficiary and am very grateful.
One writer, whom I am learning to admire is Katie Davis, (www.katiedavis.com). She boldly proclaims in her blog and in her pod-casts that it is the duty of writers and illustrators to share what they have learned about the craft of writing that might help others–mainly so that kids will benefit and enjoy the love of reading–and that writers will have their books ‘read’. (Isn’t that the ultimate goal of any writer?) This sharing community includes more than just learning how to write well, but it also includes information about the publishing world, and the big world of marketing what one writes.
And I want to share with you, my faithful readers, some of the best of these pod-casts from time to time by posting links to them. I hope you will make time to listen to the short interview posted below with author and coach, Andrea Woolf!
Meet Your New Journey Coach, Andrea Woolf!
by the editors of Children’s Book Insider, the Children’s Writing Monthly
Andrea will be here to help you get inspired, get motivated and get over any of the obstacles that may be standing in your way. In this introductory chat, Andrea tells her own story of struggling as a writer, and offers a superb exercise to get you started on your path to success.
Enjoy! (and let me know what you think!)