Monday, April 9, 2012

Encourage a Young Writer TODAY!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012 is Encourage a Young Writer Day!  Here’s my advice and some quotes by writers and artists who inspire me:

Notice S.K.'s writing companion!
"If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that." ~ Stephen King
I think one of the reasons why I love to write and create picture books is because I love reading. I always have a book ready to read, and I hate it when a book has to end. If you want to write, reading helps you to understand what makes a compelling story, what keeps your attention, what types of characters inspire you.

Take those ideas out of the jar!
“The beginning is the most important part of any work.” ~ Plato
Whether its writing or art, you have to put your idea down on paper. Who cares if it stinks? No one ever has to see it. Or maybe it’ll be brilliant. Conquer the fear of the blank paper and create!!!!

"The most valuable of talents is never using two words when one will do."~ Thomas Jefferson
There should be a reason for every word on the page and every line in a drawing. When writing for children, I have to be creative while using a limited number of words. That is more difficult than it sounds. Remember that the reader needs some room to use his/her own imagination when envisioning the story. I sometimes have to remind myself to let my illustrations help tell the tale, too.
da Vinci's sketchbooks were filled with creative writing

"Every now and then go away...for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer." ~ Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo was SO brilliant! Put your writing away for a few weeks and then read it with a fresh mind. Sometimes the fix for a word, phrase or story line you struggled with will suddenly seem totally obvious.

O'Keeffe stayed true to her art and vision.
“I look at my work and make up my mind about it. After that, neither flattery nor criticism matters to me.” ~ Georgia O’Keeffe
DO have someone else read your work. Choose a person you trust who will be honest and give constructive feedback. It’s great if someone likes your work, but it’s better try to find out why they like or do not like it. You can choose to use advice or not. You can make others’ praise or criticism as important as you wish. Ultimately, you have to believe in your own work and feel you did the best possible job. If others like it too, that’s a plus.

So, what are you waiting for? Get your paper or ipad or laptop, start with a word or a title or a sketch. Take that idea floating around in your crazy brain and make it into something real!