As a children's ghostwriter, I get a lot of drafts from new authors who want to be the author of their own children's book. Unfortunately, most of them are poorly written. It's easy to see that they didn't put any effort into learning the basics of writing. What's sadder is that many self-published authors don't even think of having a professional writer look at their work before publishing. If you’re writing a book, I strongly recommend that you put effort, time, and even money (if necessary) into learning how to write. To help you on your writing journey, here are six writing mistakes you should avoid.
1. You’ve never studied how to write, but think you can do it. It’s true there is a lot of information online that can give you writing instruction and advice, and it may help you. But you’ve actually got to study it. I read an article equating building a chair to doing anything else correctly, like writing. The chair has four legs, a seat, and a back. How hard could it be to build one, right? But would you risk sitting on it if you don’t know what you’re doing? I wouldn’t. You don’t know what you’re doing wrong until you know what you’re doing! If you’re starting out, it’d be advisable to hire an editor or even a coach. Don’t publish a poorly written book.
2. You’ll get to it when you get to it. If you genuinely want to write a book, you will need to do the work. This means you should write every day, or at least have a set number of hours per week to write. Or you might have a weekly word count quota. If you don’t commit to writing, life will quickly take over and make it nonessential. Stay focused and committed. 3. Your first draft is good to go. It’s important to get your story down, but the first draft shouldn’t be published. Think of your first draft as a starting point. You’ll never know how good the manuscript can be until you keep working on it. In the article “The First Draft”, copywriter Demian Farnworth notes, “You’ll make your copy adequate in the first rewrite. Good in the second. Great in the third and fourth. More likely in the fifth and sixth. And beyond.” This pertains to the fiction and nonfiction writer also. Never assume your first draft is the end-all.
4. You can go from your first draft to your final draft and directly to publishing with no pauses in between. This isn’t a good idea. Your brain needs time away from the story before it can see it differently. Mistakes you glanced over before will become visible when you take a couple of weeks away from the manuscript. The reason it’s essential to take your tie is because when you’re working on a project, your brain knows what you intended to write, so it will see that instead of what you may have actually written. I’ve caught many mistakes by giving my brain a breather from a manuscript. If you absolutely don’t have the time to give your manuscript a couple of weeks, give it at least one week. 5. You don’t need a second pair of eyes before publishing. You’ve done it right and finished your manuscript. You’re ready to publish. But, hold on. Even seasoned writers need another pair of eyes to go over their manuscript before submitting or self-publishing. It goes back to your brain. It knows what it knows. It sees what it expects to see. Just as a safety net, it’s a good idea to hire an editor to go over your manuscript. At the very least, think about hiring a proofreader. Any work you put out there reflects on you; make it shine. 6. You don’t need to be on top of marketing your book. If you wrote your book for you and your family, you’re safe. You don’t need to promote your book. But, if you want to sell your book, marketing that book is a must. According to Zippia.com, “Including self-published and commercially published, over 4 million new books were published in 2019.” And this just pertains to the US book industry. Keep in mind that each year that number increases. Your one book will easily get lost in a sea of books published daily basis. Book marketing is a must.
I’m a working children’s ghostwriter, rewriter, and coach. I can help turn your story into a book you’ll be proud to be author of. Contact me at: email@example.com. Or, you can give me a call at 834---347---6700 Or, if you’d rather do-it-yourself, check out my book, How to Write a Children’s Fiction Book.
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