Hey! My name is Steph and I'm a children's author...
Phew! Do you know how long it took me to write that sentence? Eight years. Not because I type using only the little toe on my left foot, but because it’s taken me eight years to believe it.
Crazy, right? But that’s what this blog is all about. It’s for children’s writers like you and me, who attempt to deal with the mental and emotional aspects of writing on a daily basis, as well as learning how to create a cracking plot, loveable characters and a story our readers will love.
We’re the ones who just know there’s a children’s book inside us (maybe it’s even been written) but struggle with the emotional rollercoaster that, as authors, we ride on each and every day. We worry we don’t have the skills to be successful and that we’re never going to get published.
Do any of these sound familiar?
- The voice of the inner critic telling you that you’re no good at this writing thing and that you shouldn’t even bother.
- A fear of rejection from friends, family, publishers or agents.
- A sense of loneliness in the creative process, wondering if anyone else feels this way.
- Crippling self-doubt and a severe case of comparisonitis – how are you ever going to write like *insert name of favourite author*?
- A sense that you’re completely stuck, with no idea how you’ll get your manuscript finished, let alone published.
- Disbelief that you have the ability to make a living as a children’s writer-will you ever be able to give up the day job?
- A feeling of inner turmoil – are you good enough, funny enough or publishable enough?
- A worry that you don’t actually know how to write a children’s book?
Sound familiar? They do to me. Even when you’ve published a book or two, these feelings don’t stop. They are always there, like a little devil on your shoulder whispering doubts and negative thoughts into your ear.
I’m a writer, just like you and I’m on this creative journey, just as you are. This blog is here to provide you with the following:
- A supportive community to help you develop a successful mindset.
- Strategies you can use to help you believe in your own success as an author, e.g. visualisation, affirmations and mindfulness.
- Lessons I’ve learned and continue to learn.
- My own triumphs, mistakes and emotional journey.
- Practical tips you can try to help you become the writer you’ve always wanted to be.
- A virtual hug, mug of tea/coffee/whisky and a warm blanket when things get tough, as they so often do.
- A humorous way to deal with the many difficult aspects of writing, as well as the mistakes that can be made and learned from – I will swear occasionally so apologies if you’re delicate.
- Inspiration, motivation and advice.
- Writing hints and tips.
What this blog is not...
A perfect writer’s journey – I’ve written and published non-fiction books, but I’m still learning and investigating the art of writing fiction. I want to share the lessons and the journey with you. Whatever I learn, I’ll share on here.
A softly, softly approach won’t feature here either. Writing is a tough process so I must give tough love from time to time. If we want to be successful writers, we’ve got to be prepared for the hard journey ahead. No one can do it for us.
However, this isn’t a place for ghoulish behaviour. Within the TTGBWYW community, constructive advice is always appreciated, but rudeness is not.
The simple rule is: If you haven’t got anything nice or helpful to say, don’t say it at all. We’re all here to support, encourage and motivate one another. Everyone you meet is battling something you know nothing about. Let’s keep it respectful, yes?
There are also many skills we need to develop and practise as writers to create stories that our readers will love. It can feel very overwhelming! I firmly believe that we need to READ a lot to become better writers, so I’ll post examples of great children’s books that have inspired me and that we can all learn from.
Personally, I don’t believe in writers’ block. But I know there are things such as fear, self-doubt, the inner critic and procrastination. All of which can stop our books from ever seeing the light of day.
All of these things can make us lose sleep at night.
All of these can go BUMP when we write.
Let’s improve some of them, shall we? Come on!
Who am I?
Before starting this blog, I was a teacher for fourteen years and I loved it. But I loved writing more and so, in 2015, I decided to write a book and publish it. And then after that, I wrote two more. I published those too.
The three of them form a set of books for teachers, so it’s unlikely they’ll set your world on fire, but I’m proud of them and the first one has been No.1 in its category on Amazon.
Since then I’ve continued to write, to publish and to learn as much as I can about writing for children. I’ve also discovered the joys of self-improvement, self-discipline and self-belief. The three key components to success and the reasons that I’ve written so much in a relatively short amount of time.
I live in London with my husband, two children and my dog, Flo. She sits faithfully at my feet while I type and it’s when I walk her during my lunch break that my best ideas come into fruition.
I love children’s literature and my biggest goal is to be a published children’s writer. I’m an avid self-improvement fan; it changed my life. As a result, I am always curious about how our minds and our habits contribute to the person we become.
I also love a good biscuit, a good quote and a great book to read at night. How about you?
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.”(Churchill)