Springtime is the quintessential essence of new beginnings.
Although other seasonal and holiday-related transitions like the New Year inspire a sense of hopefulness about new opportunities that lie ahead, in springtime, all of nature bursts forth with new growth and life that serve as real-life examples, as well as metaphors, for fresh starts.
What Does Writing Have To Do With Springtime?
What does this have to do with writing for children (or anyone else)?
Since spring is a time for rebirth and renewal, it’s a good time to take stock of how your writing career is progressing.
Coincidently (or maybe not?), Working Writer’s Club president Suzanne Lieurance chose to complete the transition from the Working Writer’s Club to the Wealthy Writer’s Club this month to take her prolific coaching/education/critique/writer’s support venture in a new direction, and this season of new beginnings may also be a perfect time for you to make some needed changes.
Here are some critical questions to ask yourself:
1. Are you happy with the goals you have set for yourself and with your progress in reaching them?
If you’re like many people, you probably made some New Year’s resolutions a few months ago to set specific major goals for 2017.
Did you resolve to query a certain number of magazine or book editors each month about hiring you for assignments?
Did you promise to sign up for a critique group or for certain writing classes or coaching programs?
Did you resolve to start a blog and take specific steps to generate new content each week?
Whatever you specified as your goals, have you followed through with the steps you outlined?
If so, it’s time to set some new short-term goals so you can continue growing your writing business (after, of course, congratulating yourself for following through).
If not, it’s time to assess what’s not working.
Did you fail to set aside the required time?
Did you get sidetracked with other pursuits?
Once you figure out what is not working, it’s a good idea to set more realistic, achievable goals.
Most importantly, it’s time to set some goals that you truly WANT to achieve.
2. If you achieved any or all of your goals, are you happy with the type of writing you are doing?
If you’re working on the middle-grade novel you’ve wanted to write for many years, are you enjoying your progress?
Of course, writing and re-writing manuscripts is often difficult and sometimes gets frustrating, but, in general, do you feel fulfilled and excited about writing this fictional story?
Are you excited about the characters you have created, or are you forcing yourself to develop a plot because you promised yourself you would?
There’s no shame in realizing that perhaps the goals you set were not really centered around the type of writing you truly want to do.
If this is the case, consider branching off into another type of writing.
Maybe you would prefer giving nonfiction magazine articles a try, or maybe writing short picture books would be more appealing.
3. Since building and maintaining a career as a professional writer relies on generating a stream of fresh, salable ideas that can be turned into salable manuscripts and a steady source of income, are you constantly coming up with new ideas to sustain your business?
If not, maybe you need to develop new ways of coming up with new ideas.
For me, the best way of doing this is to pay attention to what’s around me, including people, places, events, seasons, news reports, and more.
Paying attention is especially relevant to writing for children because there are so many fun ways of introducing kids to interesting subtopics that relate to broad subjects like seasons.
So allow yourself to be swept up in the blossoming tulips and daffodils and the birds’ nests and other new beginnings that are all around you.
Look, listen, smell, feel, and taste the essence of spring with new eyes, ears, etc. that represent the ways in which a child would notice these new beginnings.
For example, instead of just smiling at the colorful tulips, ask yourself what type of seeds (bulbs, actually) these plants came from.
And then consider how different types of seeds are alike and how they differ.
Then, consider creating a nonfiction article about different types of seeds for a children’s magazine, and spice it up by including a how-to section about how to plant a garden that includes plants that sprout from many different types of seeds.
Naturally, springtime isn’t the only appropriate time to re-evaluate your goals and writing path.
But since new beginnings are all around you, why not take the opportunity to infuse your writing with fresh ideas or directions?
About Melissa Abramovitz
Melissa Abramovitz is an award-winning author/freelance writer who specializes in writing educational nonfiction books and magazine articles for all age groups, from preschoolers through adults.
She also writes short stories, poems, and picture books, and is the author of the book for writers, A Treasure Trove of Opportunity: How to Write and Sell Articles for Children’s Magazines.
Melissa graduated summa cum laude from the University of California, San Diego with a degree in psychology and is also a graduate of The Institute of Children’s Literature.
She is a member of SCBWI and The Wealthy Writer’s Club.
Visit her website at www.melissaabramovitz.com