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Write On!
Real Words Of Encouragement
By T.E. Watson
November, 2005, 18:03

T
he end of 2005 is at hand.

So it seems to me the perfect time to encourage and bring some positivity into the world of writing for kids.

You have all heard the saying that children’s books are the most difficult to get published. This is a very accurate statement, and for a reason. But it's not a reason that has to keep completely stop you in your tracks, or even get you down.

Many writers in this industry have acquired an attitude which dictates they be blessed with an elitist state of mind. These types, frankly, drive me daft. But they do have their place. They are here to make us all that much more driven to succeed.

These are the types that make you wonder if they started out chilling in coffee shops with little or no lighting, filled with rancid, badly filtered  cigarette smoke. Or lounging about in the back wearing patches on the cheap tweed jacket, topped off with a black faux beret from the Left Bank.
 
This is the artistic image of the fiftysomething writer-slash-author who has nothing better to do than wait for the inspiration of the political atmosphere to feed him/her whatever may come in the form of verbal protein.
 
These “writers” make us all nuts! The “I cannot write until the artistic energy comes to me” types. La de-freakin'-da! Get over yourselves!
 
The real writers, who spend the time going searching for the great story -- or at least the one that appears to be the great story -- and the one after that, and after that. They are the writers of the good work that people need to be reading. There are so many fantastic writers who  don’t know it because they are being emotionally held down.

The ones who do the holding are fearful and are the most ego-fuelled persons in the industry. But the fact that they are fearful is what makes them the easiest to ignore.
 
So take control of your writing and find out what the rules are. Then be daring enough to break those so called sacred rules of publishing. (Please note: I am not telling you to ignore matters grammatical. There is never enough proper grammar).
 
Just shrug off the constant rules of the book ogres who tell you there is only one way -- theirs -- and if you don't do it their way you will never succeed. The children’s book industry was started by one company back in the early 1930’s, and that was an afterthought. It was as a way to pacify children, not enhance their minds.
 
The industry is such now that if it does not change for the better, and ignore the prolific physcological interference so intrusive in most of today’s juvenile books -- and get back to the ways of good old fashioned story telling -- it will succumb to the world of computer games and television.
 
Kids are not stupid. They will read good writing.
 
Simply remember this… Only those who have the talent ever get far enough to suspect they don’t.
 
Take care and have a great and safe holiday.

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T.E. Watson is an award winning children's author, whose titles include White Wings And Blacksail, I Wanna Iguana, The Monster In The Mailbox, and a host of others. He is president of the Northern California Publishers and Authors Association (NCPA), hosts radio talk show Write Now, and is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), syndicated columnist of the serialized children's story, The Feather River Adventure, a member of the California Writers Club and member of The Butte County Renegade Writers Organization. Website: http://www.tewatsononline.com  


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