Harold Underdown, on his website The Purple Crayon, offers a tremendous amount of information for children’s book writers.  One piece of advice has stuck in my head these many months….to those of us who think we have “many manuscripts ready to submit,”  Mr. Underdown gently points out that, we don’t.

What he means is we may have writing skills, we may have ideas, but unless we’ve spent hours reading and studying the specialized craft that is writing children’s books, our first manuscripts are likely exercises in writing practice.  Very good, that practice is, but it has not produced material ready to submit to publishers.

I have been trying to rework one of my first PB manuscripts.  I wrote it for Ray a dozen years ago, just for fun, a sweet, completely fictionalized tale of a boy who loved cookies and his mother who helped him learn the gift of giving.  There is some truth and a whole lotta fabrication in this story.  But it was fun to write.  I even “illustrated” it by buying a half-dozen PBs and cutting them up, pasting the pilfered pictures onto my manuscript pages.  It was a good project.

Lately I’ve been trying to rework it, tighten it, strengthen it, for the market I now know much more about.  It’s been tough.  It may be impossible.  Poor Ray of my story may never see the light of a bookstore.

I hope he does.  I’m very fond of him and his cookies.


2 thoughts on “Struggling….

  1. The road you’re traveling is a hard one to get through. It’s like a parent who sends their child into the world and that child is rejected. The pain! I am so proud of you for reaching out to your goal! You are so very talented and I know you will have success. But still, the road is a hard one to travel. Keep the faith in yourself and know that you are unique and talented. Jen, there is no one like you! xo

  2. It’s not how many times you fall that count.The most important thing is how many times to you get up and try again.

    Most skills are learned. They don’t come to one over night .Hard work and determination will pay off. Your very talented and still mastering your craft. Don’t give up before you reach your goals.

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