Am I jumping the gun? Technically we’re not post-COVID yet, and although we’re getting there, an entire generation of children has been impacted by the pandemic in ways we may not even realize until years down the road.
So, to answer my own question, no, I am not jumping the gun.
If you have a desire to write for children, get out your notebook or computer and write. Don’t worry about a publisher. With today’s self-publishing technology, if you have an idea for a children’s book, you’re on the threshold and the door is wide open.
After two years of trauma and virus-related social change, some of our youngsters have lived a third or half of their lives in a world most adults could never have imagined. Masks, quarantines, sickness, vaccines and even death are every day anomalies and young children lack the maturity to fully comprehend. What are they doing with all of this information? How is it sculpting their young minds? In what ways will it impact who they will be as adults?
These are all important questions. Children’s minds and souls are ripe for information that will not only help them understand but also support them as they process and heal.
If you’re already writing a book, I hope this validates your efforts. Keep writing! If you haven’t yet begun writing but are exploring an idea that can help entertain and inform children during these times, begin writing.
Who is Your Primary Audience?
As a children’s book author you will need to please two audiences: children who will read your book, and the parents who will buy or permit their children to read it. Keep this in mind: while adults (parents and teachers) may be the ones opening their wallets, the approval you’re after will be that of the kids. So keep young readers in mind as you write. Ultimately, you’re writing for them. They are the ones who make your message worth telling and book worth writing.
Begin With a Great Idea
People often think writing kids books is easy because they’re short. To the contrary, it takes an incredible amount of focus and skill to digest a message or a story down to fewer than a couple hundred or even a thousand words. You still need a beginning, middle and ending. You need to hold the reader’s attention. (And we know how that can be with kids, right?)
The most well-crafted books will be those kids want to read over and over, and those they’ll want to keep. Whether you’re writing a let’s-get-through-this-and here’s-how book or other post-pandemic literature helping to guide young minds, your book might just be one today’s children read to their own kids someday.
Judith Cassis is a New York times/LA Times bestselling ghostwriter and book coach living in the Los Padres National Forest, California. Along with her writers courses, she presents an annual mountain writers retreat. Visit her website and connect on Facebook.