A children’s writer has to get in touch with her own past, while simultaneously understanding the youth of today.
Getting to Know the Children
Read children’s literature extensively. Google for children’s award-winning books, scan the books on popularity charts, browse through libraries and bookstores. Humor, poems, short stories, novels, picture books – read through every genre. This will not only open your eyes to the current market trends and reader tastes, but also give your own creativity a jumpstart.
Getting to Know the Market
Join associations, writer’s groups and book clubs which will help you network with professionals in the field of children’s literature: writers, illustrators, publishers, editors, agents, educators and librarians. Subscribe to newsletters and magazines for children and children’s writers. Attend conferences and book exhibitions.
You need to get all the information possible to understand the market and stay at the top of the game. And it is always fun to get together with people who love to do what you are doing.
Upgrade your skill
Work constantly at honing your talent. Attend workshops, earn a professional degree, take courses, hire a writing coach. There are plenty of online courses with enough flexibility to suit any schedule, no matter how tight or erratic. Do everything that deepens your creativity and expands your horizons as a writer.
Get constant feedback on your work. It could be a professional critique or opinions from friends and family. Or it could be the response in the rejection letter. Analyze the feedback dispassionately and work on it.
Write for the right reasons
“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”
― Robert Frost
While it is important to keep up with the trend, it is also critical to write for yourself. Write about the things that you know and the things that interest you. If you love what you write and love the process, the excitement will transmit itself to the reader.
Have Faith and Tenacity
As a children’s writer you are in this for the long haul. And not just to get published. So don’t let a few rejection letters scare you away. Continue to submit your work – to publishing houses, agents, writing competitions.
And now that self-publishing has become the preferred mode of entering the market for first time writers, there should be no stopping you. There are companies which will take you through the entire process of self-publication effortlessly and painlessly, making your dream into a reality.
So believe in yourself. And peg away at your writing until the job is done…