The Gestational Period of Writing a Children’s Book

At the beginning of 2013, I wrote that I was going to spend the year creating. It’s taken NINE MONTHS to finish one of two picture book ideas I have.

Nine months to nurture and feed and develop and second guess this sing-songy kid’s book. And finally, after not being able to take it any longer, seeing it on my computer screen, dreaming about it at night, hearing it in my head, and talking about it incessantly, I did it. I birthed out that sucker, gave it a quick hug, and stuck it in the mail.

I submitted a manuscript to my dream publishing house. My expectations are low, knowing how the publishing industry takes at least six months to respond, and that’s only if they’re interested. But, I did it! And in six months, if I don’t hear back, I’ll send to another. And then, six months later, if I don’t hear back, I’ll send to another. And on, and on, and on, and on (I feel like I sound like Pee Wee Herman, when he’s talking about his lost bike in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure). 

My oldest boy LOVES the story. He’s been requesting it as an afternoon read, and quoting it throughout the day. That’s all the confirmation I need that I created something special, and even if nothing comes of this silly story, I know it brought joy to my 3 year old. But hey, if a book publishing company likes it too, well…I’m ok with that!

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5 thoughts on “The Gestational Period of Writing a Children’s Book

  1. jenpelto says:

    Good for you, Nicole! Our anxieties often prevent us from even beginning. And some, who do make it that far, don’t have the confidence to submit it for publication. Can’t wait to see it on the shelf somday!

    • Nicole says:

      Thanks Jen! I couldn’t believe how much effort it took for me to just clip the darn envelope to my mailbox!

      I need to get in touch. I really think we need to plan a writer’s retreat (or you know, sewing, painting, etc) sometime in 2014.

      • jenpelto says:

        YES. Emphatically yes. (And, hold my 9:30PM coffee for me so I can write that word down, because I love it, and I’m going to use it in our workshop so I sound super articulate and artsy.)

  2. sarahkerner says:

    Good for you for taking a really scary leap! I think all of us who read a lot of books to our kids feel like at some point, Hey! I could do that! But how many really take the next step (and the next, and the next) to really make it happen?

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