Monday 21 November 2016

Learning to Wait – Childhood Training for Being a Children's Book Author • Natascha Biebow


Waiting . . .

Waiting for storytime

Waiting for Mum to play

Waiting for school to end

Waiting for dinner

Waiting your turn . . .

Waiting for the rain to stop

Waiting for the cake to bake

Waiting for Uncle to arrive

Waiting for the post

Waiting for snow

Waiting for birthdays

Waiting for the phone to ring

Waiting for a kiss

Waiting for Santa!

As a child, there are ENDLESS things to wait for. Waiting does not come easy. Why do we have to wait? Why can’t we have it NOW? Is is sooooo ***** frustrating!

As we get bigger, we learn to do just that  . . . wait 

As a child, I learned how to wait for letters (and even as a grown-up, there are still some of these sometimes) and  

if I wanted to know something, I had to wait to go to the library, or look it up in the Encyclopedia Britannica at the neighbour’s house.

As a grown-up, the world is a much faster-moving place. But, even so, it seems the clock of time has speeded up infinitesimally.

When I send an email, I itch waiting for a quick reply.  
Plus, I don’t have to wait very long at all to find out something now. I can ask Google. I can see whether it will rain tomorrow. 

I can see how fireworks make all those cool shapes and colours. And when I ping a message on social media, I can be pretty certain someone will ping-back fairly instantaneously . . .   

But still there is waiting.

But, wait! AHA!  

It seems that from the moment I started out, the universe has been preparing me for my raison d’etre – writing children’s books.

The business of creating and publishing children’s books is full to the brim with WAITING!

Waiting for an idea

Waiting for the manuscript to be ‘cooked’

Waiting for your critique group’s feedback

Waiting for a reply to submissions

Waiting for an agent to say yes

Waiting for the publisher to say YES!

Waiting for the contract

Waiting for the editor’s feedback

Waiting to hear if your revision is OK

Waiting for the pictures to be added to the words

Waiting for the proofs

Waiting for co-editons

Waiting for the printing

Waiting for the books!

Waiting to see it in the shop 

Then . . .

Waiting for an idea . . .

Waiting to hear if there will be a new book.
Waiting –-

So, you see, being a child is the perfect training for being a children’s book writer. Even if it is **** frustrating. 


Natascha Biebow
Author, Editor and Mentor

Blue Elephant Storyshaping is an editing, coaching and mentoring service aimed at empowering writers and illustrators to fine-tune their work pre-submission.  Check out my small-group coaching Cook Up a Picture Book courses!

Natascha is also the author of Elephants Never Forget and Is This My Nose?, editor of numerous award-winning children’s books, and Regional Advisor (Chair) of SCBWI British Isles. 


Jane Clarke said...

Oh yes, how true! Your post put a big smile on my face Natascha x

Pippa Goodhart said...

So true!

Ali Oxtoby said...

It feels like 'wait' is my middle name - Ali Wait Oxtoby, an author in waiting. But I wait patiently for things to happen and while I wait I do the thing I love the best - I write!

Natascha Biebow said...

Thanks, Jane!

Natascha Biebow said...

Good strategy! Good things come to those who wait :)

Natascha Biebow said...

Glad it struck a chord for you!

Lucy Rowland said...

I am so bad at waiting! ! I'm slowly learning but it's incredibly hard! My poor agent is always telling me to be patient. Thanks for this post! :)

Michelle Robinson said...

I blame all the waiting for my prolificacy - I write to pass the time while waiting to hear back on other writing. It's the only way!

Lynne Garner said...

Students often don't believe me when I tell them it can take years for a book to go from idea to being available on the shelf. I'm with Michelle I often fill all that time with writing.