I Am A Writer – learning from my contributors (Part I)

Children's Non-Fiction, News, writing

One of the benefits of picking the brains of awesome people for your book is, well, picking the brains of awesome people! As they share their advice and experience with children, I learn a lot from them, too.

Some of my biggest learnings from the draft of I Am A Writer at the moment are coming from a place of gratitude, and creating manageable projects.


One of the writers in this book is Helen Tau’au Filisi. I met Helen through a mutual friend, and it was through my self-published books that she was encouraged to publish her own books. She says, “I never dreamed that writers would be able to self-publish… Now I’m able to make choices about the type of books that I want to publish, their covers and also the layout of the books. It is a creative process that I greatly appreciate.”

Recently, I was listening to a podcast about nature, diversity and happiness. They discussed how when we have luxury or ‘treats’ often, they become part of our baseline – they don’t feel like a treat anymore. I think that somewhere along the line this has happened with my creative work. I have forgotten to be grateful for the privilege of making art – the space, the energy, the income, the support from friends and family.

Also, I find that when I come from a place of gratitude, I’m also coming from a place of enthusiasm and excitement. These are wonderful ingredients for creative making!

Manageable Projects

Both Izak and Becky (from Izak Smells) talk about having manageable projects. Like their three-comics-a-week webcomic site. But the lightbulb moment for me was when Izak said: “Every now and again we compile our favourites into books… This is possibly the easiest way to make books. We just push ahead in bite-sized, manageable chunks until there’s so many of them that they turn into a book all by themselves.”

Mind. Blown. Possibly the best advice I’ll get all year.

“I Am A Writer” will be launched on Saturday the 18th of February, 2017 at Meow Cafe in Wellington.

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