Writing a Children’s Book with Creativity That Sticks
This guest post is by Monica T. Blas, Author/Illustrator of Uppity Owl Upcycles
Many people are now writing and marketing their own books successfully without the million-dollar book deal, demanding agent and tireless tours. With the many online selling avenues like Amazon, Nook, and Apple combined with networking giants such as Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter…writing, marketing and selling your own book is almost as easy as 1-2-3. The hardest part of creating a successful children’s book is creating something you’re going to stick with, love and grow for many years to come. And, if you’re like me…you’re starting with a blank slate and no direction.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to write my own children’s book. As I gave considerable thought to what my book was going to be about I realized that I couldn’t write a children’s book that wasn’t going to stick with me. There needed to be the desire to want to write more. I wanted to write a book that motivated me, allowed me to be creative and continually held my interest.
One of the reasons children’s books don’t do well is because they don’t grow. Authors write one book and that’s it. I believe in order to have a successful book you must have a series of similar books. Think Little Critter, Curious George, The Berenstain Bears, The Cat in the Hat, etc. Your book is more likely to be successful if there is a series available. Writing a series can only happen if you’re 100% invested. Today, I would like to share with you how to create a children’s book that will stick with you and motivate you to continue in your efforts.
In order to create a children’s book that others are going to love you need to find the things about yourself that you love. I’m talking about creating a book rooted in you. You’re true loves, passions, hobbies, and interests. For instance, let’s say you LOVE hot rods. You collect them, you frequent local races, your clothing has some sort of car oil logo on them and you can’t wait to go to that big race you’ve been dreaming of since you were a child. You LOVE hot rods! That is the kind of passion I’m talking about here. If this is true of you, you can probably bet your children’s books are going to have something to do with hot rods. This next part is easy, promise it won’t hurt.
It’s time to get that children’s book you’ve been dreaming of writing *out of your heart* and onto paper. In order to come up with a character, an environment and a theme that sticks, you just need to answer these few questions on the Stick List…
- Name a passionate hobby of yours. ____________
- Name a cause you’re crazy about. ____________
- Name an animal that melts you’re heart every time you see it. _____________
- List a love you have. Carrot cake, wooden toys, etc. _____________
- What do you do to relax? Play the guitar, toss horse-shoes? ______________
- Name your favorite vacation spot. ___________
Let’s say you’re answers were as such…
- Blankets for Newborns
- Chocolate covered cherries
- The Beach
Once you have a list of things that reflect who you are as an individual you have all the mediums you’ll need to create a children’s book that will stick with you for many years to come. When you look at the list do you feel like it reflects you? If not, go back and reconsider your answers. This list might take you a little while to complete because if you’re like me, you don’t give a whole lot of consideration to things that define yourself. We’re too busy helping others and concerning ourselves with the needs of our children, husband/wife, and providing happiness to others.
Once your list is completed it’s time to start getting creative. In order to give you a better idea of how the Stick List works, I’m going to use the list above to create a hypothetical children’s book series that will stick with you and motivate you to want to write more.
Scenario A – Nana Rabbit lives the good life under a palm tree on a beautiful beach. The sand is whispery white and almost as soft as Nana Rabbit’s fur. When Nana Rabbit isn’t busy quilting blankets for the newborns at the local hospital, she’s planting the latest in-season flowers in her enormous garden. One day, Nana was finishing a baby bunny blanket when her best friend, Mr. Squirrel, came by for a visit. He always brings her favorite snack…chocolate covered cherries!
While the list above doesn’t directly reflect my passionate favorites, you get the idea. If you’re list doesn’t get you excited about the future you’re creating for yourself, then take all the time you need in order to tailor it so. It’s my belief that if you are indeed in this for the long run, you’ll want to create something that you’re going to look forward to working on every day. It’s about doing what you love and loving what you do.
Monica T. Blas
Monica is the author and illustrator of Uppity Owl Upcycles a Brooch. Her Uppity Owl Upcycles books are about a crafty owl who loves his environment by taking old useless things and upcycling them into new and useful creations. She is currently working on writing and illustrating 4 more Uppity Owl Upcycles books to be released on September 1st, 2013.
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