At the end of a quiet cul-de-sac, birds chirrup as inspiration settles on the author/illustrator who faithfully tills the soil of writing and publishing her children's books...
SOME THOUGHTS ON CRAFT
Editing, often considered the bane of a writer's life, should be welcomed with open arms.
Often, the problem is knowing when to stop editing! Tightening scenes, crafting snippets to breathe more depth into characters—these can exhilarate us, underscore the joy of craft, even as they interfere with sleep or challenge us to wash away grammar and spelling errors and improve our use of language.
Similarly, re-writing offers another opportunity to hone our craft. But unlike editing, re-writing requires you to know your characters and your story.
With a first draft, you get to know the players and the situation that brings them together. In the re-write, you work within the framework of the first draft to expand, remove, even reinvent what’s there; you become more involved with the who, what, where, when, why, and how. In some instances, you might need to interview your characters, even argue with them, to discover underlying issues, unresolved conflicts, hidden motivations.
Don’t fear editing or re-writing; they are necessary parts of the process, and if you’re not confident about editing your own work, don't hesitate to seek the assistance of teachers and other writers. You might also consider attending workshops to help fill any gaps in your understanding of grammar and story structure.
Time and the desire to retain control of my work were two of the main motivations behind my decision to pursue indie publishing as opposed to a more traditional route. I am blessed to live in an area alive with artistic energy, with outlets for illustrators to actors to musicians to sculptors to engineers and other writers. And I love the opportunity to collaborate with local professionals to produce original works to engage, entertain, and inform a new generation of readers and dreamers.
Publishing and marketing decisions are best made when you have all the information in front of you. Therefore, consider joining professional writing and illustration organizations. SCBWI, CBI, IBPA, CPSA, and ICL are some of the best resources available for publishing children's books. Also, read professional publications such as Writer’s Digest and Publishers Weekly to find additional resources on each phase of the writing process, from concept to publication.