Writing Picture Books: How I got to where I am today by Blair Williamson
by Writing Workshops Staff
A year ago
In this blog series, we will be following student Blair Williamson on her publishing journey.
My writing journey started a long time ago. I spent a lot of years wondering "Can I do this" before moving to "I want to do this one day" and "I know I could be great." What actually pushed me to take my dream and my writing more seriously was an incredible community of writers led by an incredible author and mentor named Rosie J. Pova.
I had NO idea what I was getting myself into when I joined Rosie's 8-week class or when I applied for her 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 is important to know what is currently selling in order 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 workshop with Rosie was the feedback from the other writers in class. You could take it or leave it, but the peer critiques were such a fun part! I loved seeing my peer's ideas and also watching their stories come to life each week.
There were some hard weeks in the class, though. I did have trouble pushing myself to write prose. I tend to write and think in rhyme and I really struggled at the start to just get the first draft down on paper. Once I sat down uninterrupted I forced myself to put pen to paper and just start writing. It got easier as time went on...
Overall, I found taking a rigorous class and signing up for Rosie's mentorship an unbelievably helpful first step in my career as an author.
In the coming months I will have to use the tools I developed 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 jump start for me!
The next step in my journey is the querying process... so, stay tuned! Thanks for reading!