November 4, 2020-Quick! Which authors do you admire and why? I’m here to let you in on a little secret. The authors you chose aren’t special; they’re just like us. If they can do it, so can you! There are things that best selling authors have in common! Let me prove it to you; here’s what you need to succeed.
- Tenacity-An unwillingness to give up or give in. If Stephen King’s wife hadn’t urged him to pull his manuscript out of the garbage, we would have no Carrie, and Mr. King still might be a janitor. His manuscript for Carrie was rejected 30 times! Be unwilling to give up. People will tell you “no” a thousand times..but that just gets you closer to “yes.”
- A platform-It’s essential today to have a platform on social media to connect with your readers. The most successful authors interact with people and post things that readers want to know about, such as writing tips, advice, interviews, and excerpts from your books.
- A great story-No; I’m not just talking about the story in your book. I’m talking about the story of you. How you became an author, how you overcame challenges and obstacles, and how you eventually succeeded. People don’t buy your books. They buy YOU.
- Passion-If you’re not passionate about your work, how can anyone else be? Love what you do because you won’t stick with it on the bad days if you don’t. It’s what gets you excited and out of bed in the morning, and successful authors are passionate about their books and sharing them with others.
- Dedication-Successful, best-selling authors are dedicated to their craft. Writing is their job, and they treat it as such. Dedication beats talent when talent doesn’t work. Read that sentence again.
You can achieve your dreams. Believe in yourself, get to work, and refuse to give up.
April 18, 2019– As writers, we often think this. It usually happens when we run out of coffee and are staring at a blinking cursor on a blank page while simultaneously banging our head against the desk. Let me be honest, there are a lot of writers out there who ARE better at writing than you. And they’re better than me too. Sometimes it comes down to basic things like sentence structure, plot lines, and good old-fashioned storytelling. Listen, we have to accept the fact that we aren’t as good as we could be and that there is always room for improvement. The point is, what are you going to do about it?
- Start reading more. I’m serious. If you’re not reading, you can’t possibly have the tools or the knowledge to be able to write like you should. Get your hands on anything and keep reading. We know this from literacy studies with kids; the studies show that kids who read more do better in writing and in school. Let’s take a page out of their book (pun totally intended) and read as much as possible.
- Find your weak spots. If you don’t know where your writing sucks, ask someone to tell you. Join a group of professionals or give your manuscript to someone who doesn’t like you. I’m not kidding, the problem with having our work critiqued by family and friends is that they love us and the last thing they want to do is hurt our feelings. Why do you think I’ll never send a manuscript to my mother? Because I could copy the phone book (do these still exist?) and she would say it’s the best thing she’s ever read. You need honest feedback if you want to become a better writer. Once you find your weak spots you can fix them. You can’t fix what you don’t acknowledge.
- Practice won’t make you perfect, but it will make you better. If you’re not writing something every single day, then you’re not serious about becoming a writer. You need to be constantly writing because it will help you refine your craft and find your voice. Practice writing introductions, practice writing characters and plot lines, practice writing endings if these are the points you’re lacking in. Like the post on Monday, it takes approximately 10,000 hours of doing something to become an expert. How are you supposed to become an expert if you’re not practicing daily? Listen, you’re never going to be perfect and you’re going to have people who hate your work. But, if you’re willing to take it all in stride and continually improve then you will be successful. You’re not everyone’s cup of tea nor should you be. Your writing voice is as unique as your perspective of the world is. Keep going no matter what.
There are writers who are better than us and there always will be. Don’t let that stop you from doing what you want to do with your life. X LLB
October 20, 2018– To celebrate the book launch of Pants, by Tamara Botting, illustrated by Erin Cutler, we wanted to help you make your own mini pants! Here’s what you need to make 1 pair:)
Materials: Ask an adult to help you gather the things below:
Felt sheets or brightly coloured fabrics in a variety of colours and patterns
Cardstock or construction paper
- Draw a pants shape on a piece of cardstock or construction paper with a marker
- Cut out the shape
- Put the pants shape on the piece of felt or material
- Cut out the shape two times so that you have 2 pieces
- Thread your needle and sew the two shapes together remembering to leave a small hole for the cotton stuffing
- Stuff the pants
- Sew up the final hole
- Display your pair of mini pants with the storybook Pants, written by Tamara Botting, illustrated by Erin Cutler! Read the book again:)
Ask an adult to help you cut out a shape similar to the one below and sew it together!
May 28, 2018- This is really cool! I love this; thank you Natasha Lester!