WHAT YOU WILL NEED
Chapters Two, Three, & Four of How to Write a Children's Book: a 7-day Workshop in a Book
You’ll see the book is divided into Days. I could have easily labeled these ‘steps,’ but odds are you’ve wanted to write a children’s book for a while. I thought labeling the steps this way would a) highlight that one can do this in seven days, and b) light a fire under your writing cushion to finally do the writing part.
At the end of each Day section, you’ll find Day Sessions, which tell you how long to set your timer, list any actions you need to take, and give you a tip to carry you through the work.
You’ll need writing tools. While I typically recommend using tools with which you are comfortable, I am going to invite you to use this workshop to start training yourself to compose on a computer or tablet.
You might be thinking, “What else would I be composing on?” Paper. The answer is paper.
Until recently (2018-ish), I composed on paper first, edited on said paper, and typed my drafts from pages of legal paper into a document.
A few years back, I took a writing class with a journalist in Nashville. Most of the students, including me, brought notebooks and pens. I believe only two students brought a laptop on which to compose.
I remember her being genuinely shocked by this. While she said she was encouraged by us all to start writing with pen and paper again, I was beside myself with envy. I knew I could get a lot more writing done if I could exercise some self-control and write directly to the screen.
After that class, I started building up my “compose on computer” muscles. At first, I had to turn off the WIFI and uninstall my video games (I’m a child).
Now, I do discovery writing on paper and write for publication on the computer. If you are curious about discovery writing, please visit notnowimwriting.com, where I talk all about the craft and business of writing. I would elaborate on it here, but discovery writing does not apply to this particular workshop.
You will also need a timer. The timer is integral to the process. Use your microwave or an egg timer if you have one. If you have good self-control, you can use your phone. You can always ask Google or your smart devices (Alexa, Echo, etc.) to set a timer for you when prompted.
Let this book be a workshop experience for you. Test things. Experiment. No one has to know what you are doing. No one ever has to read what you are working on, but I am sure that once you’ve written your first children’s story, you’ll want to share it.
I hope you enjoyed this excerpt from “How To Write A Children’s Book: A 7-Day Workshop In A Book”.
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