Posted by: nancyisanders | June 14, 2021

Reality Show: KidLit Writer Writes

Yep. The reality of my life as a KidLit writer is that first and foremost I try to put my energy into actual writing. Writing fresh new content on at least one of my works-in-progress almost every day.

Not just editing. Writing.

Not marketing or working on my blog or creating pins for pinterest. Writing on my WIP.

Right now one of my WIPs is a teacher resource that I’m creating on my computer. So first thing most days (unless I sleep in and have to feed the cats first) I sit down at my computer and create 5 new worksheets to add to my WIP.

And when I work on my other WIPs such as poems for Babybug, I usually sit in this chair here in my living room (this is a photo from last winter when it was cold enough to wear a sweater!). I can sit here and look out our front window at our birdfeeder in our front yard.

I like to write the first draft of a devotional or a chapter book or even a picture book AWAY from the computer. For several reasons. I like to work away from the computer as much as I can to limit strain with screen time (eyestrain, wriststrain, backstrain, etc). Plus, I like the creative place my brain goes to during a first draft when I’m writing in my writing journal instead of typing on the computer.

So how about you? What are you writing, actually writing, this week?


  1. Thanks again for this peek into your process. It’s so inspiring! I’m drafting a new picture book.

    • Oh…a new picture book. How delightful!

  2. I like to write my first drafts on yellow-lined paper–I have to think more before I write. If I type first, the perfectly-typed computer screen tries to make me believe that the writing is equally good, lol!

    I’m working on a devotional, too! A family devotional. Also, a picture book manuscript and final edits on my first novel which is getting republished. I keep working on whichever one seems “in play” at the moment, volley it back to the editor or agent, and work on another one. My heart wants to also work on a historical novel, but I recently got an agent for my picture books, so that is taking top priority!

    Thanks again for your fun posts!

    • Oh this is so exciting to hear what’s happening in your corner of the KidLit world! And a new agent?! How wonderful!!

      • Yes! I have been signed by the amazing Adria Goetz, of Martin Literary Management. We met several years ago after I submitted a story (she’s local to me out here in the Seattle area), and we chatted about a story idea at our regional Christian writer’s conference.

        God has a good sense of humor, because in February I told my writing group that I was giving up on writing picture books because they are so heartbreaking–I’ve had contracts, promises of contracts, and books that have made it to the final acquisition meetings, and STILL not a single published picture book (I could tell long stories about what happened in each of those situations, but I’ll spare you the details!).

        A month later, I signed with Adria, who wants to represent–you guessed it–my Christian picture books. I’m still in a bit of a state of shock!

      • OOOOhhh, God is so good!!!!! Your story is so inspiring…thanks so much for sharing. And hip hip hooray!!!! I’m dancing for joy at the goodness of God in your life.

  3. I’m working through the 1st draft of a MG novel and wishing I were a plotter rather than a pantser. Thanks for sharing your process ❤

    • Ah yes…the eternal struggle whether to plot first or not!! And good for you for tackling MG. Have fun!

  4. I envy you, Nancy! I haven’t been able to write since the COVID crisis began. I depend on travel to inspire me, and of course, nibbles on submissions and participation in author’s events. None have transpired. So I look for other means God has to use writing in my life. ☺️

    • Oh…praying God will inspire you as you’re getting back into your traveling routine. It sounds like a wonderful way to get inspired!!!!!

  5. Thank you for sharing your process Nancy. I do most of my writing at the computer. I do take breaks throughout the day and go for walkabouts. I also do blue line writing–I seem to be more committed when I have pen and paper in hand 🙂

    • I love your walkabouts! A great reminder for us to get up and get our brains refreshed. Thanks so much for giving us a peek into your writing world!

  6. I have mostly been writing for work recently. The monsoons have begun where I live so we’re having to spend more time indoors. But, lovely weather that inspires me to write.

    • That’s so important to write for work, too! Hopefully you can write even with the monsoons.

  7. Nancy, I amazed at your writing processes and the sharing you do with us every day. I love to write with a pencil but I need to remember a notebook or journal because I have random slips of paper with notes, lines, even beginnings of stories which often don’t go any further because of my lack of organizational skills!

    Do you write worksheets for all of your manuscripts, as they’re WIPs? And, do you submit them with manuscripts? I write many non fiction and historical fictions that could each use worksheets. Never thought of doing them while I write and research.

    On another note, another quick rejection this week. I must be a much better critiquer than writer because my crit buddies thank me and use many of my suggestions, even if it’s just switching lines around. But I keep writing!

    Thank you again and again for your daily realities.

    • I had to laugh when I learned you jot down notes on little pieces of paper. So do I! You can glue these into a journal. And sorry to hear about your rejection…we have to be optimists as writers, that’s for sure. And for worksheets, I often create these to go along with my books after the contract is signed! Not before. I create stand alone worksheets though that I can sell on my own on a variety of topics.

  8. I’m working on the sample chapters for a proposal for a kids’ devotional.I work mostly at my computer, but like to do my planning with pencil and paper. And walks each day with my corgi writing pal are a must!

    • So fun to know…and a corgi! I’ve always wanted a corgi. Our neighbors have one so we get to enjoy her.

  9. Thanks for reminding us that we need to write! I’m working on endless revisions but want to start on a new project.

    • So glad to hear you’re starting a new one, too!

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