The incredibly easy way to become a great writer!

MonstaThere is only one way to learn how to write well, increase your vocabulary and really begin to understand grammar and language structure. You need to experience writing in action, by reading it and listening to it.

As we read, we imbibe new words, new idioms, new turns of phrases, new ways of breaking the rules of grammar and structure. We learn new ways of telling stories.

Stories grip us wether they are overheard in the playground, on the news, the adverts, the gossip columns, the movies, the latest video game or in books.

Stories are the powerhouse, the fusion and fission of learning to read and write.

Writing can only become imaginative, exciting and able to engage the reader if the writer knows what is possible, if they have read and seen how others do it, if they realise that language is not a straight jacket, but a universe of infinite possibilities.

Stories are what grip us and hold our attention. Stories are what take hold of a child’s imagination and make them want to open the covers of a book, to delve inside and discover what wonders are contained therein.

And I do mean a book. Kindles and tablets are fine when you are confident and know what you are doing, but learning the language is hard work, requiring deep concentration. One thing at a time – beginning, middle and satisfying end.

Kindles and tablets are multifunction shopping and entertainment devices. Distraction is built-in a mere swipe away. Tablets have only one page. They have no identity. They homogenise the content they envelope.

Often, distraction is built right into so-called “reading apps”. You cannot learn to read if the words are jumping up and down and doing the reading for you.

Hearing stories makes children want to read them. To be able to hear stories, to know what those books contain, the stories must be told in the first place. Every other lesson in primary school comes second to story time. Every bedtime routine comes second to story time. Story time is where readers and writers are made.

When that magic moment happens – when children make the connection and realise that the little squiggles on the page are the code that connects them to a multitude of worlds and other people’s lives – they want and need to read books by themselves – hundreds of them! They need books to be available and they might need a bit of help choosing them.

That’s when you might start to engage them with the intricacies of structure and grammar.

A child that reads for pleasure will want to write, to try and do this amazing trick for themselves. They will be bursting to tell about everything they see and hear and experience. Knowing that others have done this before them, and seeing how they did it, will help them tell their own story, be it scientific or spiritual, funny, happy or sad. They will have learned it is possible to make a story so engaging that others will want to read and listen to what they have to say.

Reading is seeing how writing is done.

Reading for pleasure is how we learn to write.

Reading for pleasure comes first.

Drawing · Nature · People

Are you a Frustrated Artist? – Here’s some advice

Are-You-A-Fruistrated-ArtistsmlI had a message from a Graphic Design student in Paris last week. They really want to be an illustrator and there is not enough drawing on the graphic design course, which only uses illustration within design projects.

As I was wondering what to advise, I saw a video by @willterryart called called “Artists should always have a personal project

It got me thinking. Life takes you down may routes and sometimes you might wish you had chosen a different path. Sometimes, if you are in a really bad or dangerous place, you need to stop and start again immediately, but generally, going back and trying another route doesn’t get you very far either. You can just sit down and cry, but that doesn’t help much.

It’s generally best to forge ahead and do the very best you can, learning all you can along the way. At the same time, have your personal project. If you want to be an illustrator, then draw ever day – all day – in every spare minute. then bring what you learn into the part of your work you find less interesting and do that to the best of your ability.

If you are stuck in a place, work so well, putting in love and enthusiasm to your work, so that you outgrow the situation you are in. It’s amazing how opportunities come to such people, because opportunity likes to work with hard working and talented people.

Your degree qualification will mean nothing in the big, wide world. You will be judged on the quality of your work, ideas and personal vision. So get working on that and others will start working to advance your career. Everyone loves a winner and everyone loves to be a part of their success.

Good luck to you all, but you won’t need it if you work hard and do in your own time what burns inside you. Luck only comes to those who have already prepared the ground.

If you wonder what this post is doing on a children’s book author’s site, then I wonder the same thing too. I’m planning to split my efforts across two sites soon. one will be more aimed at drawing, professional and personal development nad this will return to children’s books.


Doodling is good for you

doodlesmlDoodling is good for you.

Doodling is good for the brain and for your creativity. As you doodle, the left hand side of the brain begins to go to sleep and all those annoying thoughts about what, where, when and how, fade away.

The the magical process begins. The right side of the brain, given time and space to be in charge, somehow come up with all the answers that the left side of the brain is demanding.

If ever you are stuck for an answer, stop trying to force it out, start doodling instead. You will be amazed!

you can buy this on Ebay