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Writing--A Lonely Job?: Part II

Instead of the word 'lonely,' let's substitute 'solitary.'
You certainly can say that 'writing' is a solitary job. The story is yours alone. The characters, the setting, the voice. No one can write it just the way that you can. So you sit with your pen and paper, or at your computer, alone. And you write the story that's in you head, and in your heart.

Once your story is down on paper, however, there are many ways that you as a writer can connect with others to help you along the way to being published.

Critique groups. Getting feedback from other writers helps us get that manuscript ready before sending it off to a publisher. Connecting with other children's writers helps me to improve my writing and my story. It gives me a deadline to keep my writing on track. It connects me to others who share my enthusiasm and can relate to all parts of my journey as a children's writer.

SCBWI. The best resource for children's writers is the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators (scbwi.org). Everything you ever wanted to know about writing for children can be found here. Members reach out to each other across the globe with help and encouragement.

Conferences. Besides the information you learn at conferences for children's writers, meeting and connecting with other writers, editors, and agents happens here.

Libraries and bookstores. These are valuable resources for researching children's books. Librarians and bookstore workers point us in the right direction, and share our enthusiasm for children's books, sometimes with tips on where there is a need for more books for children.

On line resources. Websites, blogs, message boards and listservs are ways to learn by connecting with other children's writers.

Volunteer opportunities. Find ways to volunteer at libraries, schools, conferences and organizations for children's writers. The personal contact that you receive here is an education in itself.

I've met some wonderful people because of this lonely/solitary job of writing for children. It's opened a whole new world to me, and I'm glad that I didn't miss out on it.
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