A few years ago, I took an online course on illustrating children’s books. The course was peppered with interviews by successful authors of children’s books. I was so impressed with one interview in particular that I wrote down some of the author’s wisdom verbatim.
From children’s picture book author, Maria Van Lieshout:
“Write only the book you can write. …when you define yourself as an artist, that comes through in your style or [through] your voice when you’re a writer. It is all about who you are authentically and that is defined by where you’re from, where your home is, who your parents were, where they came from, what appeals to you, what you react to, what makes you emotional…[you ask] what is it about me that makes me respond so much? Because the more I understand about me and where I’m from, the better of an artist I will ultimately become and that will shine through in my style in the books that I do….It is about who you are as a person as much as who you are as an artist or a writer that ultimately defines the book that you need to be working on…You want to find the story that is absolutely yours because you are the only one who could have created the story.”
I’m going to suggest that you read the above quote aloud, once more. And listen to the words that you read; take them inside.
Though I’ve said something similar in earlier blogs, I find that it helps to have something of value repeated. And, when someone says the same thing in a different way and/or with a different tone, it might be heard by a new audience.
All of that said, what is the book that only you can write?
Or the poem?
Or the art piece you can make,
mold or build?
Or the painting that only you can paint?