Want to Read It? Write It!

Write the book you want to read.

This thought has been going over and over and over and over in my mind in the last week.  What does it truly mean to me?  Does it mean I should write stuff that I would want to read? Does it mean that anything that I have written so far I should just trash if it isn’t something that I would read?  Lots of thoughts.

To me it means this: If I think of a book that I would love to read but can’t really find anything out there that is like it then I SHOULD WRITE IT.  That really helps me when it comes to writing YA fiction. But since I am primarily a picture book author what does that mean?

I keep a running list of story ideas. Whenever I think of an idea for a picture book or a young adult novel I will make sure to put the idea in my trusting IPhone Notes.  There are many, many different ideas.  So back to the quote above: Write the book you want to read.  I feel a wise thing to do is to occasionally go back through the list and ponder on the ideas. Would I read that? If the answer is yes then it stays, if not then NO. Goodbye.

As for the picture book drafts that I have already written that have been “in the drawer” I am going to go back and put them through the “filter” and see which ones may jump back at me.  I have struggled a ton with writing my stories in my style with my humor but also following the “rules” of picture book writing. It is hard for me to do.  It has gotten easier.

So if you are out there and have a great idea for a novel or children’s book and you can’t find that book anywhere then I think that is the literary universe telling you that you need to write it. SO GO FOR IT.

This is also heavy on my mind since National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo is coming up. SOON. I had planned on not participating in this year even though I had a blast doing it last year.  But now that may be up in the air as “Write the book you want to read”  is consuming my mind. I do have an idea of a YA novel that I would love but I can’t find a good representation of it out there. So is that the literary universe trying to speak to me?? If it is then I have about 10 days to figure it out.

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James Arthur

A children's picture book writer who lives in Texas with his wife and daughter. James lived in Taiwan for two years where he taught English and wrote stories for an international children's magazine.


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