How do you get excited about writing?

And returning to the keyboard after a long break?

I’ve written about the Summertime Blahs, but what does one do about the winter blues or the publication blues?

Yep, you heard right. In November I finished and published my latest children’s picture book, and then the holidays took over what was left of my energy.

And now I’ve got the blank page (or screen) syndrome.

This isn’t anything new, not for me. If you are a long time follower, you know this is a yearly ritual. However, each time I’m faced with it, I am surprised. Weird, right? When I’m in the writing zone, I think I’ll never stop. But then…

Brain fog settled in.

One thing that has helped me before, was reading. Reading everything. Good, bad, great, and mediocre. So I’ve spent the last couple of months reading three to four books a week. Didn’t help.

So…

  • I’m visiting some of my favorite bloggers.
  • Playing with a few writing prompts.
  • And giving my brain a good talking to.
  • Looking at some of my previous posts and trying to take my own advice. LOL

Tell me. How do you get back in the writing saddle? To create when the lightening of inspiration is lacking?

I appreciate any tips or suggestions you’ve got. Because I’m still stuck.

In the meantime, pop over and read this post by Lucy Mitchell. It gave me something to think about. WHEN STRUGGLING WITH YOUR WRITING ALWAYS THINK – CATERPILLAR & THE BUTTERFLY!

I’m a butterfly, a butterfly…

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You might want to avoid these subjects like the plague.

In addition to my novel in process, I have another kid book in the works.

In the following video, Darcy Pattison tells us 17 topics to avoid and WHY.  Let’s face it, some ideas have been done to death. Which makes me wonder if some of these topics might apply to adult fiction too. Hmm.

So, writer beware, proceed with caution.

17 topics to avoid unless you’ve found a new and unique twist.

  1. The first day of school
  2. Clean your room
  3. Tooth Fairy
  4. Halloween & Christmas
  5. I want a pet
  6. Dealing with a disability
  7. Hello, my name is…
  8. Grandma & Grandpa
  9. New baby
  10. Barnyard stories
  11. Bedtime stories
  12. Personal hygiene
  13. Monsters & acting un-monster like
  14. Going green
  15. I love you books
  16. I’m bored
  17. Baby bird learns to fly

 

What did you think? Do you agree?

Is there another topic you think has been overdone? Do tell.

Could some of these topics be overdone in adult fiction too?

Are you writing a book for kids or YA?

Did you learn anything new?

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Twitter @jeancogdell, Facebook at jeanswriting   and  Amazon.com

What you need to know about writing a children’s book?

Wow! Two years have passed.

Yes, it was two years ago this April, I finished the final touches on my first pre-school picture book.

Writing and publishing a picture book was a big learning curve.

Took me a year to finish this tiny 32-page book. Whew!

Maybe you have an idea for a children’s book, but like so many, you’ve put off starting because a picture book is a bit different from writing an adult story.

Let me speed you along toward your goal.

I’ve put together a list of 8 things I learned the hard way about writing a picture book.

  1. Buy a good PDF program. Yes, some people use MS Word but, trust me, it’s not worth the headaches. I finally settled on  Nitro Pro 10 Page Plus. It’s cheaper than Adobe and easy to use.
  2. Writers write and editors edit. Use an editor that understands children’s books. Yes, even small 32-page picture books need an editor. I found a great one by just asking around. LinkedIn and Facebook Groups are great resources. I found a wonderful editor, Margaret Welwood.
  3. Unless you can really draw, I can’t, find a good illustrator. Ask around. See #2.
  4. Decide on the size of your book. Go to the bookstore and library, look at other books for similar to your book. Me, I went with 8.5 x 8.5. Not too big or not too small for little hands.
  5. Download a photo editing program, I used Paint.NET, to help size the illustrations. Adobe will work too.
  6. Purchase an ISBN. That will help your books get into libraries.Who doesn’t want that, right? You can use the same number for IngramSpark and Amazon publishing.
  7. Use the cover templates provided by IngramSpark and Amazon or whichever publisher you decide. Each template is different.
  8. Order proof copies before you finalize and publish. Hard lesson.

My tips don’t apply to an ebook. No, this post is about producing a print picture book.

Me Let's Discuss - Jeanswriting.comDo you want to write a picture book?

Have you written one already? Do share your tips.

Did I answer some of your questions?

 

Want more? Click and read…

A Story Board

Free Picture Book Thumbnail Templates for Writers and Illustrators

Picture Book Dummy, Picture Book Construction: Know Your Layout

Picture book layout templates

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