While it may be true that we don’t forget how to write, or indeed lose our passion for writing, it can be the case that writers simply can’t overcome the problems they face when embarking on a writing journey. Children’s books are some of the most important; they teach children about the world, about reading, and about life. It’s understandable that there are problems associated with writing books – especially writing for children – but here is some guidance on overcoming common writing problems.
1. Fear of writing
Fear can be a significant problem for many writers, simply because they don’t have the confidence to put their work out into the public world. We are used to being able to hide our less impressive work on our computers and tell nobody that it exists; this isn’t the way forward! To overcome your fear of writing, and having your writing critiqued, you need to write more often in the public eye. Perhaps set up a blog, with a schedule which will mean you publish one article per week. Practice is the only way you will overcome your fear.
Unfortunately there is no easy fix for procrastination – it’s common in everyone, regardless of their profession. You need to isolate yourself from distractions. If you are finding that you are constantly checking Facebook or Twitter rather than writing, turn off your internet connection or simply use a pen and paper rather than writing. Work for a short period of time (half an hour seems like a good length of time) and then reward yourself with a ten minute break.
3. Having no money
One of the things about becoming an author, especially in such a competitive market as children’s literature, is that you will have to get used to having next to no money coming in from writing. J. K. Rowling, inarguably the most successful children’s author of this century, was living on state welfare while she tried to build her career – sadly, even the greatest authors are short of money until their break finally comes. You can work part-time, but make sure that you don’t simply give up on writing because it’s the easy answer!
4. Editors ignoring you
This is another extremely common problem. Editors receive hundreds of manuscripts per day, so it’s not realistic that they can respond to every unsuccessful author they see. Just keep trying; eventually you’ll get somewhere if your writing is good enough, I promise.
Yet another problem for writers is that you can get very, very lonely. Writing is quite an independent and solitary career, but with the internet has come great new ways to meet authors who are in a similar position to you. There are many online forums which you can join and post on to connect with other authors, and of course there may be groups which you can join in your local town or city.
6. Lack of ideas
Creativity doesn’t always come when it’s needed, and so children’s writers can find themselves without ideas for weeks and weeks. If you find yourself in this position, try to recreate something which is already out there to get your juices flowing again. Take a classic story and put a twist on it – how would Little Red Riding Hood have been different if the main character was a young boy, rather than a girl? Work with exciting material and you never know what you might come up with.
7. Being discouraged
Like loneliness, this is something which is bound to affect most writers eventually. Even the most successful writers will have, at some point, thought they were never going to get their break. Just try and focus on what you have achieved and where you have succeeded in writing; if you are still very new to writing, with nothing published and no reply from editors, then set yourself clear and achievable goals. Don’t give up – talk to another writer who understands, and work together to make both of your careers better.
Emily Lucas is a college ranking expert for Scholar Advisor, an educational portal for students. If you look for educational advice that is the place to find it.