Monday, 24 June 2019

What I wish I'd known... by Jane Clarke

It’s my 20 year anniversary as a published writer - a poem in Tony Bradman’s anthology appeared in 1999, and my first picture book text was accepted in June that year, (though not published until 2001).

So here are  a few things I wish I’d known when I hit my 40s, and started to write…

  • It’s not the end of the world if your story is rejected. Rejections are part of a writer’s life. Go for a walk, have a cup of tea - and get on with writing another story.

  • Self edit more.  Don’t finish writing a text and send it straight off. Stick it in a folder and leave it for a while, then get it out and have another look. 

These days, most of my files are on the computer but I still have to fight off the urge to send off stuff prematurely.
  • Get someone else to read what you have written.  Join The Society of Children's Book Writer's and Illustrators. A good critique group is a much better source of useful writing advice than bribed teenagers.

Mug shots of hairy teenagers at age of bribery. Fear not, they both turned into wonderful adults (and fathers).
  • During harrowing times, don’t add to your stress by wondering if you will ever be able to again.  You will.

  • Celebrate every significant writing moment (even finishing a story that you suspect will go on to be rejected). They’re great excuses for cake!

Jane’s also discovered that if you write a book about a shark, you tend to accumulate shark-related items. Gilbert the Great illustrated by Charles Fuge.


Natascha Biebow said...

Congratulations, Jane! I love your shark paraphernalia :)

Juliet Clare Bell said...

Amazing chair! I really liked your bit about harrowing times. Very true and important to share. x