What advice would you offer new writers?

What advice would you offer new writers?


Don’t wait to write a great novel. Age is not a limitation to becoming an author. Write everyday moments until the novel revels itself in your average day.

Write often in any format possible. Siri’s dictation on my Apple devices lets me write while walking, driving, or when I’m too lazy to use my thumbs. I carry my Best Sketchbook with me most everywhere to write and draw my thoughts. Use an app like A Novel Idea or software like Scrivener to keep track of your notes. Import your journal entries, dictations, and loose notes once a week into one main document that shows the word count. That will show you how quickly the story grows.

Join a professional writing group to enhance your writing. Join a publishing group to learn the marketing behind writing. Lastly, support local independent book stores. They will be the first to stock your book.

Read the full OUTBACK: Bothers & Sinisters, Conversation with the Author


Student Question: What Should I Write About?


Write about your life. Things you enjoy: hunting, fishing, sports, or write about someone in your family.  Little House on the Prarie, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and OUTBACK: Bothers & Sinisters are stories about adventures in everyday life.

Write about places. Boring places become interesting stories when people write about them. Driew Qweepie played on his farm, which he called Outback. Author Jules Verne wrote about his Journey to the Center of the Earth. Write places into reality by documenting the seasons, birds, or activities that happen in your backyard.

Put your skills to the test with this writing and drawing challenge. Can you create all the related activities in Challenge 1?

See how many of the fun challenges you can create with this free writing and drawing game. This teaching resource is a fun and easy activity that will keep students creative and save teachers time.

Student Question: “Do Your Children Draw?

Yes, both my children are unique artists. When each was around six years old, I gave her and him a Best Sketchbook. I told each “I’ll only draw with you in your journal so our drawings won’t get lost.” They were only allowed to start a new journal upon completion of their last.

My daughter, Isabella, would ask me to draw things once. Then a few days later she’d ask me to draw something else. She learned to draw by copying and listening to my instructions. Since then she’s won numerous competitions for drawing. Her goal is to become a singer, not an artist.

My son, Carter, was completely opposite. He rarely asked me to draw. He observed me with my journal and while I drew with Isabella. I discovered his journal filled with Lego patterns. His talent was spacial and usually consisted of rooms or building plans. He is a talented artist in a completely different way.

No matter who you are, time in your Best Sketchbook is inspiring to people around you. One of my favorite pastimes is flipping through other artists’ sketchbooks and journals.

Sketchbooks: Artists’ Best Portfolio

Anyone who knows me, knows drawing is a huge part of my life. Obviously—since my Best Sketchbook is usually in hand. Drawing in public creates magical moments for me and people passing by. Inspired by what they see, onlookers pause to share stories or ask questions.
The most popular question is: “Do you illustrate for a living?” I kindly respond with “Yes, how did you know?” The conversation steers in one of two directions. First, people tell me about someone they know or themselves, who has the same gift. I offer words of advice from personal experiences about following their passion. I also recommend a Best Sketchbook for continued practice.
The second conversational direction is: “I know someone looking for a book illustrator. Do you illustrate for people?” My response, “Yes, I do. If you have their contact information, I’ll email them.” A random person can become an instant professional lead, without advertising. Using my handy sketchbook, I write the contact information on a blank page. Yes, smart phones are faster, however my smartphone didn’t stop this person.
Fill your sketchbooks with memories of where and who you met along the way. The benefits are practice, exposure, and leads. Plus make new friends doing what you love, creating your portfolio!
—Mark Wayne Adams, Professional Doodler