There are a lot of wannabes out there.
And Maybe if I had the time…
And Someday I’ll…
I’ve talked to quite a few people lately who say that they’ve always wanted to write a children’s book. That they have a story inside them. But that’s where it ends. They talk about it, think about it, complain about it, dream about it — but don’t DO it.
Fear about not being good enough? Fear that they don’t know how? Fear of feeling silly or stupid or dumb?
There is really only one way to get over all of those anxieties.
Use the immortal words of Nike. Put the fears to rest. Just do it.
And yes, you might feel stupid, and yes you might think your story is dumb. But nobody starts out perfect. And to be honest, nobody ends up perfect either. I have nearly fifty children’s book manuscripts that I’ve started — thinking they were amazing ideas — and then realised that some plot detail didn’t work, or the story had been written before and wasn’t unique, or I just fell out of love with the idea.
These are not failures. I might return to some of those manuscripts in the future, or use bits of them in other stories. But if I hadn’t written them down I would have nothing.
Don’t have nothing.
Get those stories down on paper. Out of your head. Crap or not.
(The mantra above my desk is a not-so-child-friendly Anne Lamott quote: “Sh*tty first drafts.”)
Stop being a wannabe and start being a writer. And maybe nothing will happen with those stories –you’ll put them in your desk where they’ll languish for years. Or maybe something wonderful will happen, and you’ll be reading your books to your grandkids someday. But you’ll never know unless you get out that pencil or quill or keyboard and write it down.
Just do it.