It’s been an exciting ride having Blue Sky White Stars and LiNES come out in the same year and a few months apart. One took 4 years to be born, and the other less than 2 years. Both have simple sparse verse. It’s been quite a ride.
When I wrote Blue Sky White Stars, I had no idea if anyone would like it. When I wrote LiNES , I hoped people would like it.
People ask which is my favorite and I have to say LiNES. Both ideas just came to me and I wrote them down as fast as I could to catch all of it.
On thinking about what to post, of course I loved getting to know my fellow Emus and being part of the nest. It was a wonderful feeling to have support while watching my “baby” hatch into the world. Of course when flying the coop, reflection became a natural part of it. That made me start thinking about what it takes to be a writer in this industry. I would have to say that writing takes courage. Courage means you are afraid, but you move forward anyway. Courage involves fear, not lack of.
Sometimes people ask for advice on writing. So I thought in my farewell post, I would list a dozen things that helped me (other than the wonderful Emus). . .
- I would also say, be aware of your fear of success, and make sure that is not stopping you.
- Give yourself permission to succeed.
- Ask lots of questions to yourself and out loud. The answer will come. This is especially helpful when having writers-block or solving a problem.
- Remember to revise more than rewrite.
- Don’t send out a manuscript before it is done. Make sure it spit-shines.
- Put in your 10,000 hours to become a professional. Remember this IS a competition.
- Make your goal that you want your manuscript to be irresistible to any editor.
- Join a critique group (I recommend online).
- LISTEN. Know that you don’t have to take any of the advice. You just need to put your wall down and listen. That is how you will learn. That is how you will grow and get better.
- Regularly do critiques (as in a critique group). Learn to have the eyes of an editor.
- Think out of the box. Picture books have been around for 100+ years in mass. The obvious ideas are taken. Think out of the box.
- Pray! (My secret weapon :o)
Thank you fellow Emus and readers, teachers, librarians, and all the lovely supporters of my writing and books. On that note, it’s late. The sun has gone to bed, and so must I. So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye.
Sarvinder Naberhaus is the author of Boom Boom, a picture book about the seasons, illustrated by Caldecott Honor recipient Margaret Chodos-Irvine. Her most recent book, Blue Sky White Stars received 4 starred reviews and is a patriotic salute to the flag, paralleling the forces that forged this great nation, illustrated by Caldecott Honor artist Kadir Nelson. Look for her STEM & STEAM book, LiNES (also a starred review from PW) with Pinterest boards of activities (click here: of all her books) for teachers, visit her website www.sarvinder.com and find her on Twitter: @sarvindern