Writing Tips

My own one piece of advice is to realize you are on a journey, a very long one in most instances. You will have to stay committed to your story if you want to world to be touched by your message. Try to enjoy it. Read a lot in the genre you want to write in. If you want to write picture books, read as many of them as you can that have been published in the last 8 years. Take classes, webinars and if possible, join a critique group. Join CBI, Children’s Book Insider, which will be the biggest gift you can give yourself. Here you will learn everything you need to know. Read Jane Yolen’s book Take Joy.

One of my favorite books is Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg. Here are some of her top tips:

1. Choose comfortable writing tools, pens that let you write quickly.

2. Believe in the process. If you are not afraid of the voices inside, you won’t fear the critics outside.

3. Don’t make your mind do anything. Step out of the way and record your thoughts as they roll through you. Writing practice softens the heart and mind.

4. We care stories in our bodies waiting to be released. What are your obsessions? Now put them to good use. They have power. You will come back to them over and over. You might as well give in to them.

5. Writing is not a MacDonald’s hamburger. The cooking is slow and in the beginning you’re not sure whether a roast, a banquet or a lamb chop will result.

6. Be awake to the details around you. Our moments are important. As a writer we carry the details of our lives. We are saying “yes” to life – all of it – all the blissful, gory and sad moments. We must come to love the details.

7. Read a lot, listen well and deeply and write a lot. Don’t think too much. Enter the heat of words, sounds and sensations. Keep your pen moving.

8. Learn the names of things. Call it a “geranium”!

9.. Concentrate on the world around you as you focus.

10. Become an animal and be on high alert with all the senses.

11. Write in a cafe or a laundromat if you want a change of scenery and free of distractions.

12. Use loneliness. Its ache creates urgency to reconnect with the world.

13. Doubt is torture. Don’t listen to it or to the “wet blankets” out there.

14. Write about the ordinary.


Sometimes it pays to take time off and write a silly poem. Here is one I read today, Feb. 15 from Giggle Verse by Darren Sardelli. See below some information on Giggle Verse

My Doggy Ate My Essay

My doggy ate my essay.
He picked up all my mail.
He cleaned by dirty closet.
and dusted with his tail.

He straightened out my posters
and swept my wooden floor.
My parents almost fainted
when he fixed my bedroom door.

I did not try to stop him.
He made my windows shine.
My room looked like a palace,
and my dresser smelled like pine.

He fluffed up every pillow.
He folded all my clothes.
He even cleaned my fish tank
with a toothbrush and a hose.

I thought it was amazing
to see him use a broom.
I'm glad he ate my essay
on "How to Clean My Room."

Welcome to GiggleVerse.com, home of the funniest children’s poems in the universe.

This site was created and is maintained by former Children’s Poet Laureate (now called Young People’s Poet Laureate), Kenn Nesbitt, thanks to the generous contributions of poems from writers all over the world. Our goal is to encourage children to read by providing them with new funny poems every weekday, on the website and by email.

We try to post a new funny poem every weekday so please check back often, or subscribe to receive poems by email. You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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Some great tips from some famous authors:

“I think when you are an aspiring writer, you must write every day. It’s not as though anybody will call you up on the phone and say, ‘I understand you are a very promising, aspiring writer and I’m going to give you this assignment.’ You have to create it yourself or it’s never going to happen.”
– Elizabeth Gilbert
  “The imagination has to be muscular, which means it must be exercised in a disciplined way, day in and day out, by writing, failing, succeeding and revising.”
– Stephen King
  “When you first start writing — and I think it’s true for a lot of beginning writers — you’re scared to death that if you don’t get that sentence right that minute it’s never going to show up again. And it isn’t. But it doesn’t matter — another one will, and it’ll probably be better. And I don’t mind writing badly for a couple of days because I know I can fix it — and fix it again and again and again, and it will be better.”
– Toni Morrison

On Visiting Kate DiCamillo’s author’s website:

Please check out her advice “On Writing.” Kate is one of my favorite middle grade writers.

You will never forget it! Don’t Forget to read The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane and Because of Winn Dixie