Saturday, 25 April 2015

Patience, patience… by Jane Clarke

Like many children's authors, I've been visiting a lot of schools recently. In a couple of schools, we've even had the time to make books. It's made me realise that when I'm writing a picture book text, I have a lot in common with the kids. 

It's exciting when your head is fizzing with ideas that might make a book! 

Inspired? Fantastic! But now you need to make it into a story and write it down….

It's hard to get your thoughts down on paper so that someone else can read and understand them. 

The danger is that some of the fizz evaporates somewhere along the way between mind maps, story plans, and writing, so it really helps when people are enthusiastic about your ideas.

 Thanks to all the fantastic, enthusiastic and dedicated teachers I worked with.

It's hard to be patient and polish up your work.

Oh yes. But it's worth taking time so that the finished book is as good as it can be. 

Congratulations to all the children who made wonderful books.

Making a book is a l-ooo-ooo-ooo-ng process. When asked to guess how long one of my picture book texts takes to write, edit, be illustrated and appear in the shops, children will often guess 'a week.' When I tell them it takes at least two and a half years, and sometimes up to five years, they think that's an eternity.

Sometimes if feels like an eternity, too! But the fizz when you get a new idea you just have to put down on paper somehow makes it all worthwhile, especially if that idea turns into a book!

Jane's impatiently awaiting the publication of 4 toddler board books, 3 picture books and 2 more books in her Dr KittyCat series and has recently been lured onto Twitter


Moira Butterfield said...

Yes, it takes patience all round - and that's something that many people just don't understand. looking forward to seeing your books in all the bookshops soon!

Jane Clarke said...

Thanks Moira x

Paeony Lewis said...

Lovely photos, Jane. Yes, those first days of a new idea are almost euphoric. There's so much potential and of course at that point it'll be bigger than The Gruffalo!!

Jane Clarke said...

Made me smile, Peony, can't say I'm ever that optimistic. In fact I often have a moment when I wonder if my idea is worth writing because someone will already be out there with a similar idea. At least the children don't get assailed by that sort of doubt.

Abie Longstaff said...

I agree patience is important and you have to rein in your excitement BUT I do also encounter the opposite problem ie I've worked and reworked a text until it no longer feels fresh. It's hard to get that balance right!

Jane Clarke said...

Absolutely, Abie. It's hard to recapture the fizz once it evaporates!

Linda said...

Love the enthusiasm on these children's faces! And isn't it great when we, as adults, get a little taste of that excitement in our own work?