Submitted Date 10/05/2019

When I started to think of topics for my first picture book, I felt quite overwhelmed. With the advances in technology and the rise in self-publishing, readers have access to so many incredible stories that haven't been shared before. I found so many books that I'd love to add to my library that I started to question: Is it really necessary to write my own? Well, of course it is! As Asha Dornfest said, "I think new writers are too worried that it has all been said before. Sure it has, but not by you." Still, I wanted to make sure I was writing a book that others would appreciate, preferably one that filled an important niche. Thankfully, having my daughter and being active in a mom's group on social media helped me to think about the values and ideas that would most benefit my household and the audience I wanted to reach. I am a member of a young faith group (historically speaking) that still has much to be explored in the form of arts and literature. Combining my dedication to children's education, being a mother, and my love for the Baha'i Faith, I was inspired to write my alphabet book, "A is for Alláh-u-Abhá" and am already narrowing down the concept for my next book. Of course your interests and motivations may be completely different, but asking the questions below helped me practically and enthusiastically consider my options, and I hope they'll also help you develop a clearer picture of yourself as the writer you've always dreamed of being!

1. Congratulations! You've put in long hours to get your book published and marketed, and you've just found out that it is featured on a national best-sellers list. What genre would you be most excited to conquer?
A. Nonfiction
B. Fiction
C. Poetry
D. Scripts (tv, movie, theatre)

2. All aboard! You're going on your first book tour! Who would you like to see lined up outside Barnes & Noble?
A. Children
B. Teens/Young Adults
C. Adults
D. Fellow artists

3. Think fast! It's time to start your next project. If you had to write a book with only the knowledge you've acquired so far (without the help of Wikipedia), you'd write about?
A. Math and Science
B. Health and Exercise
C. History and Government
D. Philosophy and Spirituality
E. Art and Music

4. Now, you've really got star power! You've received consistently great reviews on major platforms. What word appears most when fans describe your work?
A. eloquent
B. hilarious
C. playful
D. relatable

5. But that's not all. You're most proud to see that people find your writing to be...
A. well-researched
B. inclusive
C. uplifting
D. revolutionary

That was simple, right? The questions above should help you identify who you want to write for and what you want to write about.

Now you can fill in the following affirmation using your answers.

I'm an accomplished author of _____(1. genre) for ________(2. age group). My widely acclaimed books focus on topics like ________________(3. topic) and are praised for being ____________(4. first adjective) and _________(5. second adjective).

My affirmation is as follows: I'm an accomplished author of poetry for children. My widely acclaimed books focus on topics like philopsophy and spirituality and are praised for being playful and inclusive.

Based on your affirmation, you can start to look even deeper into your interests and goals. Is there a specific age range you want to reach within the audience you've chosen? Within the topic you chose, what particular subjects are most interesting to you? If you chose science, maybe it's a fiction book for young adults that takes place in space, or for health and exercise, you might focus on nonfiction for adults who share your passion for sports. I'd love to read your affirmations in the comments below!


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