Last month I started golfing. I'm a complete beginner, so I've been looking for tips, and many are applicable to writing picture books. So here's the strap line and three top tips (in green text) courtesy of
Anyone can start the game at any age… all you need to get started is some good advice.
Yup. I started picture book writing at the age of 40 and I'm starting golf at 59. If you're getting started in the picture book game, join a group like The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators to get that good advice. For golf, I'm currently being coached by my partner. Hmmm. We'll see how that works out…
Nice and Easy
You will find that it goes much better when you take it nice and easy...
That is much, much harder than it sounds. A good picture book text has to read nice and easy, too, so don't force the text, let it come naturally. With golf, I'm still at the stage where I tense up and get sweaty.
Square to the Target
As long as you are pointing your shoulders and feet squarely at the target, you should be able to get where you want it to go.
Right. I attempt to start off square to the target, but things tend to slip and I miss. Picture book texts can get lost, stuck in a bunker, or ricochet out of bounds, too.
Keep Your Eye on the Ball
You will find that if you practice this enough, your hand-eye coordination will improve dramatically and you will consistently make solid contact.
Well, here's hoping! But yes, in golf and picture book writing, persistence, practice and application is all. In his book Outliers, author Malcolm Gladwell says that it takes roughly ten thousand hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field. That was certainly true of me and writing.
So far, I've notched up about 50 hours of golf so I've got a way to go. But I'm having fun so I'll stick with it.
And that applies to picture book writing, too.
Jane's at proof stage with 4 toddler board books, illustrated by Georgie Birkett, to be published next year by Random House, and having lots of fun writing a series for another publisher who won't allow her to tell anyone about it yet.