By Debbie Legg
I intended to write a screenplay, not a children’s book.
It was April 2015, and I was in the audience of the Women in Film panel at the Alhambra Theatre Film Festival.
Listening to these fantastic female writers/directors/actors talk about their passion for their work was inspiring me to…well…I wasn’t sure exactly which direction my inspiration was going.
Then something one of the panelists said triggered a recent memory. The author of a filmmaking blog challenged his readers to make the movie they could make this year. Even if it wasn’t the best. Even if they didn’t have enough money or resources. Just take a step, and the next one, and the next, and make the movie they could finish by the end of the year.
A small idea sparked. “I can’t make a movie this year, but I can see what it would take to turn that little rhyming Christmas poem I wrote a few years ago into a children’s book.” Even if the road led nowhere I figured I could at least answer that question.
The following week, after praying and listening, I searched “how to turn a poem into a children’s book.”
I chose to start my journey by sending the poem to The Writer’s Edge Manuscript Service.
They didn’t accept it for their catalog. Phooey. Well, on to the next step.
The next step was to search what it would take to self-publish. Amazon CreateSpace looked like the way to go for this particular book. But children’s books need pictures, so I needed an illustrator, and the money to pay him or her, and a timeline, and...
Step by step the journey continued. As I answered one question, several others popped up. Where to get. How to do. Ponder. Pray. Answer the next question. Make the next decision. Do the next thing.
Seven months later I was holding the first copy of What Would Christmas Be? My name was on the cover. My words spanned the inside. My collaboration with my talented illustrator adorned every beautiful page.
The sense of accomplishment was real, but the opportunities and opened doors have been unexpected. In fact, it was because of this book that Amy Kemp saw me as a woman with an out of the box ministry, and asked me to serve on the panel that became the Called and Confident team.
Is writing children’s books my passion? No. Is it something I enjoyed and plan to do again? Yes.
It doesn’t always have to be about “passion.” An interest, enjoyment, or a little natural curiosity can go a long way.
What do you enjoy doing? What kinds of activities interest you? How would you finish a sentence like, “What if I __________” or “I wonder __________.”
Answer the questions, plug it into a search engine, read the possibilities, then take the next step.
Who knows? You could even end up writing a screenplay.