Now that we’re at the final stages of the Squirky book series (Book 5 being illustrated, Book 6 undergoing editing), I’ve been reflecting on the ups and downs so far and here’s how I hope to approach getting these final two books out:
Growing even thicker skin: An author friend wisely advised me to compartmentalise the writing and the promoting bits. As such, once the book comes out, focus on SHAMELESS PROMOTION (something I have experience in, which I should not be afraid of, but I always get angsty about because ick, how weird is it promoting myself but I got to tell myself – no, no I’m promoting the books, the books etc etc etc).
Becoming a better listener: But of course, one’s writing could always be better. And so yes, always gather more feedback. Be open to criticism and suggestions, and as much as possible, objectively evaluate whether these ideas will make the book(s) better.
Connecting more: Another huge hurdle. But the few connections I did make in 2015 really were such blessings. So if I’m up to it (i.e. not too snarly or sleepy), I hope to be more open to connecting with the adoption and writing community both online and offline this coming year.
Not being so defensive: The kind of things I’ve heard on adoption can sometimes make my blood boil. But I have to remind myself, that is why I’m writing the book series in the first place; to create more awareness. So be patient and gracious, and check my own assumptions constantly as well.
Not being so defeated: It can get discouraging, writing books that are so niche and are so not in line with the “hot kiddy topics”. I’m thankful for friends and media who have been so kind and encouraging by giving exposure to this book series in various ways. But during the lull periods, it does feel like I’m shouting in a vacuum. I always have to remember the bigger picture of why I wanted to write these books. I always have to remember that in this world of information overload, I have to keep on getting the word out (which goes back to the first point).
Making things more fun for more kids: Besides my son finally becoming aware that these stories were inspired by him, the happiest aspect of this whole Squirky process is sharing the stories with children and seeing them enjoy themselves at Squirky events.
Can you tell this is really more of a reminder to myself? And actually, these are generally my new year resolutions for everything else in life heh.