Writing is part of my job. Every day. But I am always looking for ways to improve my writing skills, my writing habits and my writing product. So imagine my surprise when I attended the Adventure Con conference at SeaWorld and got the best writing advice I’ve had in awhile. From two pre-teens.
Elisha and Elyssa are the co-authors of the book I Love ME! Self Esteem in Seven Easy Steps which was inspired by what they’ve learned from their mom: love yourself and make wise choices. The girls wrote the book for kids and tweens as a guide for a positive life.
The conference, sponsored by SeaWorld of Texas, combines a successful blogger outreach program with a conference to help those same bloggers elevate their craft. I was there as a speaker and was grateful for the invitation to attend all the sessions with some of my favorite lifestyle bloggers from around the state.
At a lunchtime roundtable discussion called “Turn Your Blog Into a Book” led by Elayna Fernandez – and the mom to the two young authors – the group discussed the many ways to become a published author. Fernandez is also known as The Positive Mom. She focuses on the topics of motivation, particularly for mom-preneurs; the discussion overflowed with her genuine style and positive outlook on life. Plus she has self-published and traditionally published books.
But it was the tips which her two author-daughters shared which stuck in my mind. Both girls had prepared for this roundtable, and each shared their three tips to become successfully published.
Writing Tips from Elisha, 12, co-author “I Love Me!”
- It’s Your Book. Do it on Your Terms – they had an idea and they found a publisher that they wanted to work with. The girls even got an advance for their book.
- Jot down all your ideas – this is a nod to your own creativity. It’s easy to reject the germ of an idea too soon. Don’t do that!
- Do lots of research – The girls shared that they looked at more than 100 books on self-esteem in the process of creating their book.
Writing Tips from Elyssa, 11, co-author “I Love Me!”
- Set a deadline-Many writers benefit from the looming deadline. It’s what has fueled thousands of journalists and can be equally as powerful for longer works. The girls set a strict deadline for themselves. To finish writing their book in 60 days. If they finished on time, they could take a trip and attend a special conference. They did just that and landed a publisher for the book at that conference.
- Make an outline –It turns out that when our teachers encouraged us to create an outline before striking out on our written works, they were right!
- Set aside a specific time each day to write –We often correlate the discipline associated with professional writers as an adult skill. To hear an eleven year old talk about discipline and repetition is refreshing.
These six ideas perfectly distill what every writer needs to do to produce good work and be successful. If they can motivate two young girls to write and publish a book, they can certainly help anyone incorporate writing into their professional practice.