Writing children’s books is a tough job. It is a demanding and solitary work, with the ultimate aim of pleasing a difficult audience. It is a job which requires tons of self-discipline to keep going through the ups and downs. When faced with rejections, it is natural for most writers to find their self-confidence bruised and battered. So, the next time you are down in the dumps, ponder on these ideas to get you up and going.
You are a writer, not an Author
Of course all writers write for an audience and of course, you want to be published. But when you are putting the pen to the paper (or fingers to the keyboard), it is preferable for you to think of yourself as a writer. That helps you to keep focus on your writing and gain perspective on your work. As a writer you have control over your choices but as an author you depend on external factors which are not always within your control.
Focus on being a writer frees you, allowing you to write easily and joyfully. And as long as you are having fun, it is easy to shake off any self-doubts and keep going.
Ignore the Haters
All writers need to welcome and cultivate feedback and criticism. Healthy criticism – yes; nasty putdown – no. Make the distinction very clear. Any criticism which helps improve your work is constructive feedback. Any feedback that makes you doubt your caliber is nasty hate speech that should be put away and never revisited.
As a writer you have to thicken your hide to negative feedback and rejection. If you are one of those sensitive souls who loses heart easily, this link should be required reading for you. It is a brilliant piece that should help you make peace with critic and criticism.
The bottom line is – listen to those who understand you as a writer because those are your readers.
Relax; nobody has the time to Target you
Remember teen years when you broke out in acne and were mortified about public ridicule? Only it didn’t quite work out that way because everyone was focused on their own spots and pimples?
That’s life. Few people have the time to target you or rejoice in your failure. Everyone is too busy trying to cope with their own issues and insecurities. So focus less on fending off impending attacks and channel your energies into boosting your creativity.
Have several projects in hand
Pouring all your energies into that once-in-a-lifetime-masterpiece can be a dangerous thing. All it takes is one rejection to break your heart and put an end to your writing career.
Have scores of little projects to work on, even while you are working on the big one. Write articles, blogs, letters, and newspaper columns. Constant writing not only improves your craft but also leaves you with something fall back on in case your major project does not work out as planned.
Being a prolific writer is difficult but not as difficult as you believe it to be.
Spread your Wings
Maybe you are great at writing a particular genre; maybe teen fiction. But do not confine yourself within this boundary. Break out of your comfort zone, shoot off a chapter book for young readers or attempt a picture book. Maybe you will succeed in your attempts and surprise yourself by discovering fresh talent within. Or maybe you will not succeed and yet, even failure will teach you something new.
As a children’s writer, don’t box yourself within self- created image. Shatter that self-mage and get over fear of failure.
It’s not critics or rejection that is the greatest enemy of a children’s writer. It is self-doubt. You need to get that monkey off your back and KEEP GOING.