Writers are always told ” write about what you know.” So when I started to delve into the world of children’s writing , that was not great information for me; because I wanted to write nonfiction, about new and unknown subjects or places. I come from the background of writing feature news articles for adults. I have always been more comfortable reading and writing nonfiction. But after an almost two year stretch of acceptance and revisions for a nonfiction kid lit biography I wrote, came the ultimate rejection from a great publisher. I was crushed. I then decided to step out of the comfort zone and try writing fiction picture books instead of nonfiction.
Write about what you know: Family, nature, humor. I wrote my first fiction picture book about two years ago and received requests from a couple of publishers who liked it, but wanted some edits. Still haven’t sold that title, but it has led to more fiction writing. My newest manuscript is being read by a few agents and editors right now and I feel confidence in it. It’s funny and kids like funny; it has a feline main character who can read and write.
Working on tightening my fiction writing led to me recently selling my first online short story, written with a lot of dialog; way out of my comfort zone of writing nonfiction narrative. I still plan on writing kids’ nonfiction; I have started on some new ideas for researching in the next few months. But sometimes it is good to try new things and step outside of that comfortable box and stretch your goals a little. For me, the fiction writing led to better writing and revising and I can say it was worth it to take on the challenge.