After joining SCBWI, I dove headlong into writing picture books. What a wonderful adventure! I dig in to the creativity, problem-solving, excitement of learning new things. The writers I meet, in-person and online, are intelligent, generous, extraordinary. Kidlit writing communities offer astounding camaraderie and support.
I've always spent time on creative pursuits in writing, music, and visual arts. With kidlit, for the first time I feel getting a work out into the public sphere could be an attainable goal.
What I learned in my first year studying picture-book writing.
Don’t overestimate yourself.
Don’t underestimate yourself.
Join at least one writers' community.
For learning, and for support.
Invest time and money in workshops, conferences and courses-
but realize that there are quite a lot, and one cannot do everything!
There's great deal learn about how to write a story well.
Beyond that, there's a great deal more to learn, including
Subscribing to newsletters, following blogs, joining Facebook groups and Twitter
There are so many! I've joined so many, I can't keep up with them all!
Read picture books. Read recent picture books. Read "the best picture books" on the "best of the year" lists.
My first Critique Group
The many learning trails can be all-consuming!
Make time to WRITE!
Evolving the story needs deep-writing and side-writing exercises. Deep work that generates words and ideas that do not end up in the manuscript. These supplements create the healthy inner workings that make the skin glow!
GIVE it Time
and express GRATITUDE to your learning community!
As a psychologist, I have contributed to the following publications:
I am in process of contributing to a chapter on the interdisciplinary management of autism spectrum disorder for a book on clinical practice that is being edited by Joseph A. Balogun, PT, Ph.D, FACSM, FNSP, FAS, FRSPH
The First Spark: 2019
I know exactly when I started writing picture books. Christmas Eve, 2019.
My husband and I were visiting our grandchildren (and their parents). My four-year-old granddaughter had a question about a painting hanging in her room. A painting I had made for her.
"WHY did the cow jump over the moon?"
In the middle of the night, I woke up. Perhaps reindeer hooves were pattering on the roof. There was a story in my head. A story about a cow who wanted to pull Santa's sleigh. I turned on my iPad and typed it.
Later, I illustrated it and made a book just for my grandkids. I showed that book to a dear friend who is a media specialist.
She said, "You should join SCBWI."
"What's that?" I asked.
And now I know.
A school psychologist who stopped writing reports ABOUT children and started writing stories FOR children.