End with a very uncomfortable moment for a Red Sox fan
I highly recommend you subscribe to the Let’s Get Busy Podcast if you haven’t already. Matthew Winner has so many amazing interviews with fabulous guests in the previous 192 episodes (and many more lined up to come!). And certainly check out his new home for the podcast – All the Wonders, a home for readers to discover new books and to experience the stories they love in wondrous ways.
Also, I decided today to start a new tradition. Because so many of my blog posts are about me, I’d like to share two favorite books by others at the end of every post from this day forward. I’ve decided to very creatively call this:
Two for You
(two books I highly recommend)
1. Boats for Papa written and illustrated by Jessixa Bagley
I love everything about this book. Get the tissues ready, cause it made me start crying in the middle of a bookstore.
2. Snoozefest written by Samantha Berger and illustrated by Kristyna Litten
Great rhymes and illustrations, and starring a sloth.
For those of you that have been following this blog for a while, those 12 lessons may look familiar. I took my Tips for Writing Picture Books series and reorganized it a bit to make it a little cleaner and available all in one place.
It’s important to know ONE thing: You don’t know EVERYthing. So …
I debated on whether to call this post Find the Right Critique Partners or Be the Worst … and Learn from People Better than You. I think there are a couple points I want to touch on regarding progression with your craft.
First, you don’t have to do it alone. The kidlit community, both online and in person, is full of friendly people who cheer each other on. Whether through SCBWI, PiBoIdMo, 12×12, or one of the many social networking groups, there is a profusion of resources available. You just have to ask.
Find a critique group. This is critical. It sounds like a cheesy acknowledgements section of a middle grade novel, but the truth is that I’d be nowhere without the many critique partners who’ve made my writing better over the years.
But don’t be the best in your critique group. If you want to keep improving your writing, be sure to work with people who are better than you (by this, I mean better at writing). I can definitively say I have never been the best one in any of my groups – and that fact has played a large role in any success I may have had.
There are many other ways to continue learning. One is by going to conferences, retreats, and workshops. This can get expensive and potentially prohibitive, but luckily lots of classes have popped up online that range from very affordable webinars to even free (see Nerdy Chicks Write Summer School, currently in session).
Read books in the genre you write. This is important for several reasons. It will help keep your focus on the audience for which you’re writing. It will also give you an idea of the business side of the writing world. What are publishers buying? What are librarians, teachers, parents, and children enjoying?
How do you keep learning? Do you find it important to continue expanding your knowledge of kidlit? Why?
Next time I’ll share why it’s important to …
[fill in later before you post this, otherwise you might look kind of silly and you wouldn’t want that, would you, Josh?]
Wow, that sounds like an interesting topic! Betcha can’t wait to hear about that!