It all started back a long time ago really. It was a lot of years of "Can I do this" and "I want to do this one day" and "I know I could be great" ... but what actually pushed me to learn HOW to do this was an incredible community of writers led by an incredible author and mentor Rosie Pova. I had NO idea what I was getting myself into when I joined an 8-week class with Rosie along with a 3-month mentorship. All I knew is that I was going for it. In the middle of an ongoing pandemic, what better time to finally bite the bullet and just FOCUS ON ME and MY GOALS?!
So, I found out pretty quickly that I knew next to nothing about writing children's picture books ... or the publishing industry, AT ALL! The 8 week: Children's Picture Books from Creation to Publication class started with weekly lessons. Each week touched on a different area that helped inspire new ideas and character development. Every week, no matter the lesson, Rosie had us reading reading reading, and reviewing. I was able to go to our local Barnes and Noble and spent so much time reading children's books in the cafe. It's important to know what is selling currently to know what publishers are looking for. So, I read and reviewed each week. I found new books that I love, new books that I know my children would love, and some books that I didn't really love!
I feel like the most important and helpful part of the course was the feedback from the other authors in the class. You could take it or leave it, but the peer critiques were such a fun part! I loved seeing their ideas and watching their own stories come to life each week. There were some hard weeks in the class though. I did have trouble pushing myself to write in prose. I tend to write and think in rhyme and I really struggled at first to just get the first draft down on paper. Once I sat down uninterrupted I forced myself to put the pen to the paper and just start writing. It got easier as time went on...
Overall, I found it an unbelievably helpful first step in my career as an author. We will see how I use the tools I learned in the course independently without my peers giving me their feedback! If it doesn't go well, you can definitely bet that I will be back in another writing class as soon as possible! Thank you so much to Rosie and Writing Workshops for providing such a jumpstart for me!
The next step in my journey is the querying process... stay tuned! Thanks for reading!
Blair has travelled extensively all over the world. She and her husband enjoy taking their kids on big adventures together. Blair writes children's picture books for all ages! Most of her stories are inspired by life events that have happened during their adventures. They feature kids curiosity, love of the environment, laughter, and fantasy.