By Annette Schottenfeld
As creatives, we come up with many story ideas. Ultimately, one speaks louder than the rest and is selected to place our time and energy into.
So, what does this have to do with Finding Your Mud Bath? A mud bath represents your end goal, the reward you strive towards.
In my upcoming picture book Obi’s Mud Bath, young rhino Obi goes on a quest to cool off in an ooey, gooey mud bath. Along the way, he encounters many obstacles, just like writers crafting their stories.
Writer’s block, lack of tension, a quiet voice, or umpteen other pitfalls can stand between you and the story you want to write.
Even though Obi faces numerous failed attempts at finding his mud bath, he stays positive and persists with the help of the friends he meets.
Writers need this mindset and support as well. It can be difficult to stay positive when constructive feedback and rejections are par for the course. Think of it this way - deciding to stick with it and edit your story yet another time puts the power back in your hands.
Armed with this mantra I was committed to my writing, but after submitting stories for years, I still had yet to get a publishing deal. At a definite low point, my daughter coincidentally returned from a semester in Copenhagen and brought me a Danish picture book. I asked her why and she said, “Because it’s what you do - you write stories for children.” Her confidence in me was contagious, and I was back on track.
When I took the The Craft and Business of Writing Picture Books at The Children’s Book Academy during the summer of 2018, I found a positive group of professionals and peers who boosted my writing skills and helped me strengthen Obi’s story. I left the class with a polished piece that was offered a contract. One of the best parts of the program was that the cheerleading and support did not end there. Dr. Mira Reisberg, who is The Children’s Book Academy’s founder and also the editor and art director for Obi’s Mud Bath, continued to share enthusiasm for her students, plus a community of writer friends had been formed.
Both Obi and I found our own mud baths with the power of positivity and perseverance.
Don’t give up,
Decide you can - reach your mud bath!
My mud bath was to become a published children’s author. What is yours?
I will be offering a signed copy to a lucky winner that comments on the piece (or also follows me on Twitter or leaves their email on my website)!
Annette Schottenfeld is passionate about writing for children, hip-hop dance, and environmental issues, believing all have the power to change lives. She is also the author of Not So Fast, Max: A Rosh Hashanah Visit with Grandma. Annette lives in New York with her husband and two grown children.
Connect with Annette:
Purchase OBI’S MUD BATH
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6/8/2021 01:32:41 am
My Mud Bath is to write and publish books that children love :-).
6/8/2021 04:34:55 am
6/8/2021 02:37:00 am
This was a great post, Annette! Thank you.
6/8/2021 04:35:47 am
6/8/2021 03:10:38 am
I liked the way you focused on the positive with yourself and the book ending. I seem to get lost in the obstacles. I like the idea of my goal being a mud bath - something more creative. Thanks for the added inspiration.
6/8/2021 04:38:13 am
6/8/2021 04:20:16 am
Great way to focus when you are down. Thank You
6/8/2021 04:39:07 am
6/8/2021 04:32:02 am
This is wonderful on so many levels,Annette! Can't wait to read it at my Storytime. In the meanwhile, I am looking for my mud pack. LOL!
6/8/2021 04:40:29 am
6/8/2021 04:54:19 am
6/8/2021 05:08:59 am
"Finding your mud bath" has got to be one of the best phrases I've read in ages!! So glad your daughter brought you that book & in turn, you joined CBA; I'd hate to imagine other possibilities!! Hugs and many more books for you!
6/8/2021 09:24:39 am
Annette, I love your reminder to find my own mud bath. I'll just keep on persevering with positivity, even though I admit to writing in a number of different genres. Perhaps I like different kinds of mud baths!
6/8/2021 09:51:39 am
Must be something in the air--we're blogging on the topic of the three Ps: patience, persistence, and perseverance at TeachingAuthors.com. We need so much of all three in this business. Thanks so much for your post. I also wrote about mud in mine, but about getting OUT of mud, not into it. 😀
6/8/2021 11:02:21 am
My "mud bath" is to write and illustrate books that children love <3
6/8/2021 06:02:17 pm
Here's to mud baths! Thank you for this uplifting post and congratulations on Obi's Mud Bath. It looks wonderful!
6/9/2021 05:17:25 am
I love the idea of searching for your own mud bath! Congratulations, Annette and Obi!
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We are so excited to be mixing things up at CBA, beginning with some delicious additions to the Blogfish. Meet our awesome bloggers!!
Here's our lineup:
1st Mondays begin with awesome multi-published former student Shirin Shamsi who will be focusing on Muslim and cultural kidlit.
2nd Mondays will feature super smart Melissa Stoller whose career is taking off with several new books.
3rd Mondays will feature Bryan Patrick Avery, published writer, man of mystery, and professional magician among other things.
4th Mondays will feature STEM, STEAM & SEL obsessed author Kourtney LaFavre sharing delightfully dorky, quirky, and fun info.
And 5th Mondays we'll be taking a break