Is it possible? Can you do it?
This summer, I bought the software program, How to Write a Children’s Book in 14 Days (or Less!) by Mel McIntyre. I imagine that many aspiring writers have done the same thing, but how many actually go through each lesson and complete them all -- in two weeks? It’s not easy! It’s very important to set aside time each day during those two weeks. Otherwise, you might not be able to complete the program in the allotted time.
I also am a member of the Working Writers Club and took this class with Suzanne Lieurance. Suzanne was our coach during the 14 days. After we registered, she sent us a syllabus and schedule. This was a serious undertaking!
Suzanne also instructed us to read the entire textbook prior to the start of the class. I read most of it. Hmmm . . . there’s that time thing again! However, I did get a good understanding of what to expect during the two weeks.
Suzanne recommended we do some additional reading before we began the class. In the text, Mel gave examples of children’s books. I went to the library and checked out several of the titles she mentioned and read them. I got a better idea of how children’s books are written.
Last year, I started an idea notebook and file for the books I want to write, so I already had something in mind before the class. I thought it would make the project easier. (I did say this wasn’t easy, didn’t I?)
During the two weeks, Suzanne, my classmates and I, had daily conference calls to discuss assignments, problems, etc. I was able to participate in most of those calls. There is that time thing again! While the calls were recorded and could be listened to at a more convenient hour, I felt it was important to be there “live.” Luckily, I did not have many appointments or meetings scheduled for those two weeks. On the days that I was not available, I listened to most of the recordings. I think I missed one or two.
I enjoyed using the software program, being part of a class, and Suzanne’s coaching. I got alot out of the experience. But I also hit writers block after one week! My brain did not want to cooperate anymore. I found it difficult to do the daily assignments, but I did what I could.
I’ve been giving my brain a rest and I plan to tackle the program on my own next month. I will try to complete it in four weeks. This will allow me extra time for the other things that happen in my life, yet gives me a calendar goal to reach.
I would like to fully utilize what I learned from Mel and Suzanne. Hopefully, a second go-around will improve my writing and my manuscript will be that much closer to being submitted and published.
Debbie A. Byrne has a B.S. in Mass Communication with a minor in History. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and is currently working on her first children’s book.