By Julie Woik
Over the past couple of months I’ve spent a good bit of time thinking about an article that would truly inspire readers. The subject line and what it should entail became crystal clear after a recent encounter with a beautiful young child who so explicitly expressed her love of writing. It was in that moment I decided to write about just that…writing.
Although I’m the author and creator of The Life and Times of Lilly the Lash®, my writing career was somewhat of an accident. I didn’t plan to be doing what I’m doing, it just sort of happened. However, what I’ve come to learn over the past 5 ½ years, since Lilly the Lash has come into being, is that many, many people want to, wish to, or crave to unleash their creativity through a writing project. My thoughts on that; “What are you waiting for?!”
Times have changed my friends. Big publishing houses no longer hold the reigns. There are various avenues that can be taken to get your ideas out there; you just have to pick the one that works for you. Almost daily I’m approached by a parent or grandparent recounting how they used to make up fascinating stories for their children at bedtime and would love to see them in print. I meet incredible educators who have experienced “less than average” books, and would love to design something special for their students. I come across folks who have traveled the world, have seen a thing or two, and would love to tell their tale. My thoughts on that; “Just do it!”
If you have something in your head, write it down. It may not come out ready for the Top 10 Best Seller List – right away – but get it down on paper. The editing can come later. The good news is there’s something out there for everyone.
• For those of you who have your sights set on the Top 10 List, you may want to investigate a writers’ class. These classes or clubs are extremely helpful, and offer a great deal of support in a variety of ways. Networking with other like-minds is a very groovy thing.
• In your travels, you’ll find there are great books available to help you find agents, as well as publishers who accept unsolicited works. If your goal is to submit your writings to a publishing house conglomerate, finding an agent is key. If an agent likes what they see, they’ll use their resources and connections to take your work to the powers that be. This process often takes months. My thoughts on that; “Get moving!”
• For the most part, I find that the people I meet aren’t really interested in becoming a famous author. They have a story to tell, and they’d like to tell it. It might be about an animal they rescued as a child, an imaginary friend they once had, or more specifically, the story of their life as they lived it. Now, these stories may not appeal to the masses, but their appeal is massive for those whom the stories are intended. Handing down a bedtime story concocted by grandma or grandpa or mom or dad, just doesn’t get any better. Narrating your family history in a way that only you can recall it, will be received with loving adoration and thanks; guaranteed. Can’t draw a straight line or afford an illustrator? No worries. How about adding photos? What a great way to give your story that heart-warming, personal touch. Think outside of the box people! You might choose to illustrate your book with crayon drawings. They might even be drawn by your own children or grandchildren. My thoughts on that; “What a blast!?!?!”
Sometimes I get the sense that people fear they won’t be able to get the words onto the paper in the way they imagine it in their head. Well you know what? Who cares if your story doesn’t read like it was composed by Hemmingway or Dr. Seuss? Your family and friends will most certainly find your efforts a complete delight, as they came from someone very near and dear…YOU! My thoughts on that; “Simply SPECTACULAR!!”