Writing: 8 tips for getting going

Apparently the biggest hurdle to getting published is actually writing. Here are 8 tips on getting started.

1. Carry a notebook everywhere.

(or a tab or even your phone if you’re digitally inclined)

2. Write as you go.

What I mean is, there’s no need to set aside a particular time, in the beginning at least. Just write things down when they come to mind. They don’t even have to make sense. Later they probably will.

3. Read up!

It could be children’s books (if its children’s books you want to write), reference books, or self-help books. Whatever inspires and motivates you!

4. Don’t go all-in.

In Adam Grant’s book Originals, he said that even the most successful entrepreneurs doubt their own ideas and so don’t put all their eggs in one basket, so to speak. Putting too much pressure on your success as a writer could affect your ability to actually write.

5. Don’t be a perfectionist.

As I said, it doesn’t have to make sense now. It doesn’t even have to be good writing. Just get the ideas flowing.

6. Talk to people.

Talking to other people who write or have published a book is great for encouragement and inspiration.

7. Be confident.

Don’t fear failure. We hear countless stories of now-successful writers who have a hell of a lot of failures behind them.

8. Keep at it.

As Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours rule suggests, by dedicating enough time to something anyone can become successful at it!

Why children’s books?

I was going to get straight to practicalities and start this blog with the details of my progress with book publishing up until now. But, I think it would be apt to offer a little insight into what drives me, what inspires me, and what my goals are.
I suppose looking back, writing was an inevitable career choice. Although I haven’t pursued it intentionally its always been an element of my studies, work, and leisure. Literature, linguistics and writing were elements of my studies. My first job once moving to Oman was a features journalist, and most recently I have taken on the role of copywriter within the Marketing Department of an airline (I actually applied for a different position).

Although writing as a hobby has been irregular, I have always enjoyed reading. This enjoyment has increased tenfold since having children. Children’s books are awesome. And what makes them even more awesome is the audience. I’m no actor, but there’s little more rewarding than acting out stories to the children, doing the various different characters’ voices.

So it seemed almost natural for me to start coming up with stories of my own. Its as simple as imagining topics that would interest my own children, in a voice that they would enjoy. That was in fact the easy part. What should I do with my stories now? Being faced with various options for publishing, there are questions I needed to answer:

What is my ultimate goal? (Is distribution my aim, recognition, acclaim, or simply printing a few books out as keepsakes?)
How much money am I willing to invest (and possibly lose)?
Who should illustrate my stories?
How and where should I publish?
What genre do my stories fall into and what is the target age group?
Should they be translated?
These questions, and many others, I will go into on this blog.

Thanks for reading : )