What I Learned From Writing My First Book

C.M. Harris Books

IT IS NOT EASY!

That is all. 

So, I thought writing would be an easy-to-do, especially writing a children’s picture book! But really, it’s not. I thought I, a college-educated woman who received no less than the grade of a B on any of my college essays, would find this to be such a simple task, but boy was I wrong. 

As a first time author, I learned everything on my own from writing to publishing to marketing to selling, and I was and still am very proud of myself. I was on the job hunt for almost four years, and after disappointment after disappointment, I realized I don’t need to work for someone else and be told what do, thinking I would have “imposter syndrome” anyway. I created a business for myself and doing something I had someday wanted to do. After researching the role of a Self Published Author I figured I could handle this, how hard could it be?

Well, it isn’t easy. I’ve learned many lessons, the biggest lesson I would say I have learned is to get an editor. Let me say that for the people in the back of the room, GET AN EDITOR! I was dumb to think I did not need one, and here I am, three months after publishing my first book, and I’m already working on the second edition. I hired an editor. Currently, I have two editors working on two different books. Why should you hire an editor you may ask, here’s why;

  1. You need criticism. You sit and read the same story, again and again, thinking you can catch simple errors, but you really can’t. You need a different set of eyes to find what you’re missing. (I hated having critiques at first while studying graphic design but after my first few classes you recognize the need for a new set of eyes looking at your work)
  2. Writing a children’s book comes with a different set of rules. There are rules for syllable count, rhyming with a pattered rhythm and sentence structure. Very different from writing a ten paged paper. 
  3. You need to think like a child and be realistic. 
  4. You need to appeal to the parent or adult first. Children do not buy books; an adult usually decides for them.

I made a few mistakes, and that’s okay.

I knew I would not be making a perfect book on my first attempt, but I should have done better to try. It’s okay to fail, but it’s not okay to give up. You live, and you learn. Am I going to continue to try and put out my best work? Absolutely. Even if it means going back to fix the mistakes. 

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