Six months ago I met Misa and we decided we were going to create a picture book that would change the way children see disabilities. I would be the author and Misa the illustrator, simple!
Little did we know that writing a picture book with a social message attached to it, is very different to writing a picture book that is simply a nice story.
Instead of spending my time writing, rewriting and editing the storyline I have found myself writing grant applications, video scripts, website content, twitter posts, facebook posts, biographies, news releases and a blog! I have had to research each of these genres and learn the in’s and outs of each.
Here is what I picked up along the way:
Grant Applications: write the grant’s goal on the wall, look at it after every word and make sure every sentence in the application is explaining how you will best satisfy this goal. NO, you cannot copy and paste one grant application to the next because every grant has completely different goals.
Video Scripts: write the script then start cutting. Cut out the intro, cut out the middle and cut out the end. And when you think you have gotten rid of pretty much everything there will be just the right amount left to make a 1 to 2 minute video.
Website Content: it doesn’t matter how many times you read it there will always be spelling and grammar mistakes. At least two other people need to read and reread the website before publication.
Twitter posts (tweets): great practice being concise and much to an author’s dismay a picture is worth a thousand words and a video trumps everything. #tweetingistricky #whatarehashtags #?
Facebook posts: post too often and people stop following you because you are annoying, post not often enough and people lose interest… and stop following you.
News Releases: Quotes! Quote yourself, quote someone else and most importantly get a quote from a big name. You have more chance of getting published if you have done all the work for the journalist, including writing the article they will print in their newspaper. (And no you will not get credit for having written it.)
Now when I read a children’s book I see past the simplicity of words and appreciate the process that the author went through before she/he even began writing their book.