Want to write a novel? There’s never a better time

Did you know, we are in the middle of National Novel Writing Month? And did you also know there are three other awareness days and weeks related to literature during November?

We’re not quite sure why November has been selected as the month to start putting pen to paper, or for dusting off the diary, or for burying yourself in a good book.

Maybe it’s because, with the clocks having gone back at the end of October, bringing darker evenings and longer nights, we are less likely to be outdoors, and so looking for something inside to entertain us.

Whatever the reason, there are few better pastimes than reading and writing.

And in case you are interested, here are the other three awareness events we have come across:

  • November 1 – National Authors’ Day
  • From November 8-14 – Children’s Book Week
  • From November 16-20 – World Nursery Rhyme Week

We especially love the last two, as they get right to the heart of what we are all about here at Happydesigner: children’s books. We love illustrating children’s books, many of which will be in rhyme.

If you are a parent who’s been hunting around for a suitable costume for Children’s Book Week, or World Nursery Rhyme Week, you have our sympathies. Even without Sarah-Leigh’s exceptional illustration skills, it’s still much easier to draw Little Miss Muffet than make a costume with eight legs!

Anyway, we’re digressing down a rabbit hole (after Alice’s White Rabbit, we suspect).

November is, as we said, dedicated to all things books, and much of that children’s literature-related with the clear intent of encouraging people to take up a book or take up a pen.

So, are you toying with writing? We’d really urge you to go ahead, even if you don’t intend your writing ever to be published.

It really is never too late to start. Some of our most lauded writers started in their 50s and 60s. We had a quick search and found out that:

  • Laura Ingalls Wilder was 65 when she wrote Little House in the Big Woods, the first of her series of novels based on life growing up in Wisconsin in the 1870s.
  • Watership Down began as a story that Richard Adams related to his daughters. He published it at the age of 53.
  • Frank McCourt published his extraordinary memoire, Angela’s Ashes, when he was 66.

We hope this makes you feel inspired. Once you start, and unleash the writing genie from the bottle, you will not want to stop.

Our very own Sarah-Leigh is a prime example. Having first dipped her toe in the water with the Gillie Can series, she has penned another children’s book called Start Today With A Smile and she has more books in the pipeline.

If you want to write, but are not sure how or where to start, there is lots of advice online or you could sign up to a creative writing course.

Our advice would be to first pick your genre (be that sci-fi, thriller, romance, historical etc.). Then, if it is to be children’s book, the age group, so you can pitch it correctly. Be disciplined, setting time aside each day for writing. Always have handy a pen and notebook (or phone with recording facility) so that when inspiration strikes, you can make a quick memo before you forget it.

And you really don’t need to wait for an awareness day, or week, or month to get writing. If you have the muse, then do it now! There’s no time like the present.

If you are in the process of writing a children’s book, and you would love some illustrations to go alongside it, to bring your characters to life, then please get in touch with the Happydesigner team – children’s book illustrators with a passion for reading and writing!

Written by Jo Smyth (www.wordworker.co.uk)

Some of our previous clients

happydesigner clients