Encouragement from my Coach

From: xxxxxxxx
Sent: 2/22/2005 2:21:04 PM
To: cindyann@xxxxxxx.com
Subject: Creativity Coach

Dear Cindy Ann,

How are you this week? I received your e-mails. You are moving ahead on your goals nicely.

You have a wonderful momentum, but don’t fret if that slows. It must at some point slow. We cannot run full tilt continuously. It will slow, but it will not stop and it will pick up speed again.

Regarding the cover letters you are sending out — Have you thought of asking your Children’s Picturebook Writing Workshop teacher for feedback and tips on how to write a professional letter that will get the attention of the editor? I think you have many of the proponents already in your letters, but how to organize the letter and what aspects are most important to highlight might be good questions to ask her, since she is a former children’s editor at Chronicle Books. You may have already thought to do this, but I wanted to point out the “expert” you have in front of you. Take advantage of this opportunity.

Congratulations on not acting spontaneously and just sending them out without feedback. It is hard not to rush your book into the hands of those who might publish it. But I agree with you that it is better to write the best proposal possible. I am unfamiliar with picture book publication, so proposals I might write for my own work would not necessarily fit the customary format for the children’s market.

You write that you are glad you have another idea ready to work on for your next project. How do you come up with ideas? Do you have a folder to store new ideas, so when one pops into your mind you can jot it down on a napkin or scrap paper and toss it in there until you have time to work on it?

Your ideas, the ones you have shared with me so far, hold deep meaning for you. I especially like the one you are working on now, about XXXXX. It comes from a special place and time in your life with your sister. It delves into personality, perfection and the particular verses make do and the generic. These are wonderful concepts to explore. You said you feel stuck with XXXXX, unsure of where the story is going. When thinking of new ideas, think of what rich work you would like to do. What do you want to convey to children and adults who will read your work and who will study your pictures? What do you want to convey to yourself? Ultimately, we write for ourselves, we create for ourselves and out of that comes art we share with others. If we can articulate these criteria to ourselves, we have a better chance of creating what we want to convey.

I am excited for you Cindy and I am eager to hear your next installment.

All the best,


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