Posted by: nancyisanders | May 13, 2021

KidLit Writer Gathers

As a KidLit writer, I love to gather. I gather books from the library. I gather photos for my blog posts and marketing and social media. I gather friends (like you!) among my writing peers.

And when I’m preparing for a new WIP (Work in Progress) I love to gather all the materials I need to get started on my project.

Recently, I gathered my tools for preparing to write for submitting to Babybug magazine. CLICK HERE to read my post about submitting to Babybug.

I took a photo of what I gathered so you can see what kind of tools I like to have on hand for a project such as this one.

  1. I love to create a brand new writing journal for most of my writing projects. (More about this soon!) So I grabbed a blank composition notebook from the stack I keep on my shelves. I decorated it with scrapbooking paper and cute stickers. In this journal I’ll keep my notes and brainstorming and ideas and actual first drafts of the manuscripts I write.
  2. I grabbed my handy dandy pocket pouch of writing and editing tools. Inside are pens and highlighters and scissors and tape and white-out to help me during the process of writing my first drafts.
  3. I grabbed a cute file folder from my stash of cute file folders (I have a weakness for cute file folders!) and picked this adorable red and white polka dot one because it reminds me of a ladybug which kind of relates to Babybug…lol. I’ve already started filling it with samples of Babybug magazines that I’m photocopying for my mentor texts. (I checked with my libraries and you’re allowed to photocopy anything they own for research purposes as long as I don’t share them.)
  4. I grabbed my how-to-write poetry book since most of my submissions will be in rhyme.
  5. I chose a music CD to listen to while I’m working on my writing process. Choosing one single music CD to listen to when I sit down to work on one specific project helps my brain avoid writer’s block and it opens up my brain to work better on that particular project. I always choose an instrumental because I can’t think very well if there are words in the music. This time I chose Emile Pandolfe piano music of favorite Disney movie and childhood songs such as Baby Mine from Dumbo since this is a writing project for babies and toddlers.
  6. I chose one of my cute totebags that I got from a writer’s event (Okay, I have a weakness for cute totebags, too!) I put everything in my totebag so I’m ready to go!

So now that I’m done gathering, I’m ready to start digging in! What do you do to prepare for a new WIP?


  1. I love these daily peeks into your process, Nancy. They are fun and inspiring. Thanks for doing this series!

    • So glad to hear! Thanks for following along in the fun!

  2. What a great idea 🙂

    • So glad this gives you something new to think about!

  3. Thank you for sharing your gathering process, Nancy! I have always chided myself for that kind of preparation, thinking of it as “advanced pencil sharpening” (aka procrastination). However, reading this, I see how it creates a space for your work, a tangible space as well as an intangible one. So helpful!

    • Oh I’m so glad this is helpful. Have fun gathering!

  4. Your process reminds me of allowing headspace to a particular task before even starting the task at hand. For example, beginning to think about writing after lunch while having lunch is more likely to help you be prepared to write, reducing the chances of getting distracted by other tasks.

  5. Love this idea for preparation and organization! Do you keep each ongoing project in its own cute totebag as you work? That sounds helpful.

    • So glad you like this idea! And yes, if a project is small enough such as this one writing small poems for Babybug, I keep it in a small totebag. But right now I’m working on 3 WIPs. The one is totally digital and on my laptop. I’m drawing worksheets for a new digital project I’m going to sell on TEACHERS PAY TEACHERS. The other is a big project…a devotion for kids…and I have all my materials on a separate desk. I have my own desk where I type that holds my laptop. But we inherited our son’s desk when he moved out so on there I have my big WIP…a stack of research books…journals…file folders of notes…it’s too big to fit inside a totebag!

  6. Can’t wait to see what you put into your newest journal, Nancy!

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