The most important attributes you need to have to launch your career as a children’s writer are patience and perseverance. The reason being that it takes time to improve your craft to the level expected of a professional writer. And you need the will to keep going even after rejections (from publishers, agents, sometimes even the readers), which are a staple in every writer’s life.
Success comes to those who Wait
Let’s take the most celebrated children’s author J.K.Rowling. The first Harry Potter book took years to write and then faced rejection from 12 publication houses before it saw the light of day. So, the idea that you can write a book and become a celebrity author overnight is just not right. Being a children’s writer is a long journey with plenty of ups and downs and the ability to keep working through the dull periods. So, do you have what it takes?
Success comes to those who Work Hard
Because writing a children’s book, especially children’s picture books is anything but easy. As the author Mem Fox said, “Writing a picture book is like writing ‘War and Peace’ in haiku.” You have to be willing to work at learning the art and honing it. You can always better yourself as a writer, even after you get published. Are you willing to put that effort into your work?
Success comes to those who Master their Craft
Are you willing to invest time and resources in becoming a better writer? Writing is a skill and an art that needs constant practice. You need to go out there and grab every resource available to master the art of writing. Join writing groups, attend workshops and seminars and keep sharpening your skills- all the time. Your primary focus at all times should be on writing and not on getting published. This is a time to think of yourself as a ‘writer’ and not an ‘author’. In the long run, your commitment to your craft is what will pay off.
Success comes to those who get the Basics Right
Take time to get the basics right. Plotting the story arc, creating interesting characters, the technique of ‘show not tell’ and finally, getting your message across without preaching. There are the intricacies of writing you need to work on and get right before you can think of a career as children’s writer. Work on becoming a skilled writer and all the rest will fall in place – in the long run.
Link to ‘Plotting a children’s story’
Link to ‘How to write a children’s book’
Link to ‘Show and not tell for children’s writers’
Success comes to those who Love the Process
For all the hard work and challenges that it provides, being a children’s writer is one of the most delightful jobs there is. It can be a fun-filled adventure of fun, laughter and joy if you can master the art and love the process. It is also a job where you get to meet the most interesting and creative people in this word. In addition to impacting the lives of all the young readers who pick up your book. In 2010, JK Rowling was voted the most influential woman in the UK by leading magazine editors. How cool is that?