When my daughter was born, the first gift I gave her was her name. The second, the third, the fourth gifts were books. I found myself searching high and low for beautiful picture books. Books with surprisingly simple stories but a powerful message. Books with heartbreaking beautiful artwork. Books that would stimulate her imagination. A hundred and one books, each different in its own way but each created with love, passion and talent by an author and an artist.
Then one day, as I was tidying up, I found an old box with countless little texts I had scribbled over the course of my life. I realised that writing had always been a passion for me and I wondered how I could have forgotten for so long. The truth was of course that I hadn't, I had only stopped collecting those scribbles.
But when I had my daughter, I thought about all the values I wanted to pass on to her: Having enough of faith to follow your dreams. Being persistent and continuously searching to improve yourself. I wondered how I could teach her such values, if I myself did not set an example.
I decided to pursue writing more seriously. I set myself in front of my computer, wrote a number of stories and sent them off with a form letter to about 6 publishers. Each one replied with a rejection. I wondered where I had gone wrong. My writing couldn't seriously have been that bad, could it ? After all, all my colleagues had said the stories were really very cute.... So, falling back into an attitude working life as a financial analyst had taught me, I decided to research where I could have been wrong. And a whole world opened up for me !!!!
I subscribed to a whole bunch of websites and the best advice I read, was to write, write, write.... Whatever I wrote and re-wrote on each moment, seemed the best I could ever do, and yet, reading back my own work six months later, I'd realise what an idiot I had been for thinking so.
Picture books seem so easy to write. Yet everyone who has seriously been at it for some time, knows this is only a common misperception. Don't think you are the exception. I know I did and what a fool of myself I must have made :-)
This is why I set up this website. The writers and artist community is a nice one, so I want to pay it forward and share some of the knowledge I gather along the way. This website also aims to be a 'home' for our critique group. There's a blog, where each of us can post voluntarily, about any topic they wish to talk about. Besides being another writing exercise, it's also a way we develop bonds with eachother. It will be our online version of a 'Central Perk' coffeebar :-)
Picture books, childrens books, writers, critique group