Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What's on my mind... right now.

I have heard time and time again that the Children's Book market is a rough place. It's not so much lonesome, as it is painfully hard to swallow. You tend to get rejected often; That's the cold, hard truth. But I guess the benefit is that you make friends along the way. I am a member of a neat community called, Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), and through them have found many, MANY other people in my situation:

Tons o' stories, and no one to publish 'em.

So, what to do? Apparently, you JUST. KEEP. WRITING. You soak up ideas while you sit and watch your kids play at the park, you draw inspiration from every living and non living creature you see around you, and you get reallyreally good at predicting postage as you send out yet another manuscript. I also hear you should get into a critique group so your self esteem doesn't plummet. So, that's on the schedule for next week. I'm looking forward to having unbiased ideas about what I am doing, and where my stories are going. Most often I hear that my stories are "really good." or that I have a "real talent". I'm waiting for someone to just look me in the eyes and say, "Sheesh, Bethany. Not a fan."

Just so you are aware, I have a difficult time calling myself an author, or even a writer, just yet. It's just like while one is going through their Doctorate program, they don't say they are  "Dr. So-in-so". They haven't been given those (what I'd imagine are) beautifully peaceful and relaxing initials at the end of their name!

So goes it for me, I think.

While I do, in fact, write children's stories, I am not an author because I haven't been published. And yet, I want to cringe and retreat to a dark, abandoned cave somewhere, anytime I tell someone I am "trying to make it in the Children's Book world." YUCK! The looks I get are so painfully audible... Like, "Aww, sure you are hunny." even though what comes out of their mouths are, "Well, good for you!"

Bleh. Gag. Moving on.

Today's goal? Positivity, whilst looking for a publisher who will take un-agented, first-time writers, OR an agent who'll take on an unpublished, never heard of, first-time writer! It CAN be done! And, as I have now heard from fellow "authors", it takes up to sixty or seventy rejections before you get an acceptance letter; I'm at a mere sixteen. Besides, how many rejections did the amazing Dr. Seuss get? Or even J.K. Rowling? (I heard even Scholastic told her Harry Potter was a waste of time or something. Ha!) Think about that- someone passed them up! Can you imagine how silly those people feel now??

So, with that, I press forward in this unconventional, painstaking, reaffirming, but tremendously wonderful path I have taken. One day, my grandchildren will hold one of my story picture books. They'll giggle at it's sillyness, and marvel in the fact that their grandma wrote it. For now, I will keep creating characters and story lines.


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