So, you want to write a book?
Updated: Dec 5, 2021
Hi. I'm Katie. And this is the first post in hopefully a long line of blog entries about writing and illustrating a children’s picture book.
If you want to learn a little bit more about me, read this post.
If you’d rather just skip to learning about the actual process, move on to post #2.
A little bit about me.
I am many things, a mom, wife, art teacher, and now an aspiring author/illustrator. I started out teaching art MANY years ago, and as my own kids were small, I didn’t have much time for anything else.
Every year, I’d find myself trying all sorts of arts and crafts, mostly just for fun. I’ve dabbled in sculpey, amigurumi, jewelry making, painting wooden signs, painting pictures, making all sorts of things from fabric, needle felting, doll making, and cake making and decorating (I honestly LOVED the decorating part, but the baking part, not so much) to name a few. And even though I enjoyed learning about and doing each of those things, I never felt a passion for any of them.
A few years ago, a story wedged itself in between my ears and got stuck in my head. Since it wouldn't leave, I began to write it down. Being the shy, quiet, introverted person I am, I never told a single soul about it. I almost made it to the end when another one came. This time I made it about half way through when a third one started. I was part-way through the third story when COVID hit.
Still, no one knew about it.
Now keep in mind, I’m no writer. I loved writing as a kid, but I never did well with all the rules and regulations. Who needs proper punctuation or sentence structure anyway? I never studied story structure past high school, all of this was just flowing from my brain onto the paper.
With COVID, I had some “free” time, and I stumbled across a bunch of free facebook writers workshops. I took them all. I watched as many YouTube videos and read as many articles about writing as I could find. I was obsessed.
And you know what I found out? Writing is HARD. Like, not the idea part, but the actual writing part. And writing a good story is even HARDER. But now, I was hooked.
Moving forward with my stories, which were mainly middle grade or YA novels, I then stumbled across a children’s picture book class. It was like a lightbulb went off. No, seriously, I wrote a story about a lightbulb, although I haven’t done anything with it yet.
Anyway, the idea that me, little old me, could write and illustrate something that children would read for years to come had me all giddy. Plus, I figured I could handle writing and editing short stories, much better than my novels. As I wrote, I could see the pictures unfolding on the paper in front of me.
I was excited, I was thrilled, but I soon realized, I had A LOT to learn.
So I scoured the internet, looking for more information. And I found a great deal of it. In a bunch of random places. But I had to piece it together. A video about illustrating here, and a few about writing there, but most gave you just enough and then led you down the deep dark rabbit hole of BUY THIS COURSE, or PAY MONEY TO GET THIS INFORMATION.
What I wanted, what I was craving, was someone who would walk me through the ENTIRE process.
From start to finish.
That didn’t exist. Unless you wanted to pay for it.
Side note/confession: I am CHEAP. Like, have to do everything on a budget, try to spend the least amount of money possible, if it’s possible I’ll do it for free, level cheap. I also know time is money, and most people want to make money. And right now, self-education is a billion dollar industry. So of course, these folks aren’t just going to offer up their services for free.
But my main goal was to actually write and publish books. And seeing that currently, I’ve only illustrated one book, I thought what better way than to learn something new, and share my knowledge along the way in hopes of helping another lost soul like me.
My goal in this is to allow you in on my process.
The whole process, step by step. From ideas, to writing, to beta reading, editing, deciding on the size, book dummies, queries, illustrating, uploading, formatting, researching, and posting to whichever sites I choose to.
Let's get one thing straight before we begin. I am NO professional. I have NO prior experience. I can’t promise you that I will do everything right. But, I think learning new information is valuable. Sharing that information, and letting others learn from it builds a community, and that community can hopefully become something amazing.
If you've made it this far, thanks for reading! I would love to connect with you on your journey so drop your email in the subscribe form below so we can chat!
Let’s learn about this, together.
Here we go!