8 Steps to Get People to Take You Seriously as a Writer

Writing for Children Blog | craft
May 19, 2016

by Jan Fields

1. Practice saying "I am a writer" into a mirror until you can say it
without sounding tentative.
Too many children's writers describe their
profession almost apologetically. A children's writer adds to our culture
and the emotional landscape of childhood. Those are important things, and
not to be sneered at. So step up and be proud. You aren't a children's
writer because it's some kind of training ground for "real writing." You're
a children's writer because it's an important, valuable art form.

2. Carve out your own spot. Set up your writer's desk and defend the spot.
Don't use it for writing, menu preparation, kid homework, etc. Make it your
work area and keep it special. Having a special spot will help you mentally
be prepared to work when you settle in your spot. It will also tell the
family that you're serious enough about your work that you give it physical
territory and you defend it.

3. Write everyday (or as close as you can.) You may easily not be able to
write much every day. Children's writers are notorious for having to squeeze
writing into an already killer schedule, but try to make yourself jot
notes, make an outline, brainstorm some story plots (which can go on index
cards for time when you can write at length.) Once you can tell people that
you write every day, you will be amazed at how much more they respect you
and you respect yourself.

4. Get something published now. Many writers focus on the book. There is
nothing wrong with wanting to be a book author, but consider trying some
small kid crafts, recipes, activities, etc. for magazines or online
publishers. The initial boost of getting anything published and paid for
will give you more confidence and credibility to the scoffers. Activities,
puzzles and recipes are also great tiny projects for those days when you
don't have time for "real" writing.

If you want more writing instruction like this, plus lots of tips and great resources, click here!

5. Invest in your writing. Read writing books (you may be able to get some
through interlibrary loan and not spend money until you have a chance to
read the book once.) Join SCBWI. Try to get to one writing conference a
year. Take a class. We tend to value those places where we put our money, so
put a bit on your writing.

6. Pursue improvement vigorously. Join a critique group. Read, read, read
critically in the genre that interest you as a writer. Network with other
writers. Professionals never stop learning, so adopt a professional attitude
toward your writing by polishing your skills every day.

7. Protect your work.
Don't discuss your writing with people that you know
will not be supportive. The internet is a great place to connect with other
writers in your specific interest area. Search them out so you have
someplace to rejoice and commiserate. Don't expect everyone to understand
your writing, not everyone would understand your struggles or triumphs if
you were a nuclear physicist or an auto mechanic either. The lack of
understanding from others does not define your writing, you do.

8. Enjoy the process. As a society, we tend to be product driven, thinking
it is the end result that counts. It cannot be that way in any artistic
pursuit. If you don't take time to enjoy the process (the birth of the idea,
the struggle to raise it into a mature story, and the endless revisions) you
will experience so much frustration that you eventually give up. Learn to
relish each step of the creation. Your joy and your dedication will close
the mouths of many naysayers. Don't give up.

If you want more writing instruction like this, plus lots of tips and great resources, click here!

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