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.
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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 Aussie debut author and former student Amanda Lieber who will be focusing on Aussie kidlit.
2nd Mondays will feature super smart Melissa Stoller whose career is taking off with several new books.
3rd Mondays will feature our new blogger coming soon.
4th Mondays features new blogger, the fabulous Brentom Jackson, who has a beautiful approach to blogging.
And 5th Mondays we'll be taking a break