Studies have shown that we learn better when we teach others. By organizing information in a way that allows us to explain it to someone else, we clarify and reinforce it in our own minds.
Although I learn all sorts of new things each day (many of them quite useless), my specific effort has been on trying to learn all that I can about picture book writing—both the craft and the business. When I first considered blogging about writing, it seemed like a ridiculous notion. There are already so many websites in which writers share their knowledge based on years of experience. What could I add to the conversation? Not much, right?
Well, perhaps that’s the key. The children’s writing community is exceedingly welcoming and willing to share information. In fact, there are so many [free] resources available that it’s easy to get lost and overwhelmed. I often find myself stepping back from the brink of panic when I scan through all of the materials and tips and documents I should be reading.
What might help me is to focus on one writing topic at a time, learn something specific that will help improve my practice or support my pursuit of traditional publication, and then teach it to others in a brief blog post. Not only might this benefit me, but perhaps it will help others who are new to the craft and need a quick, easily digestible nugget of information to get them started (supported by my sources, should they want to explore it further). Also, I might share some of the useless stuff that I always manage to pick up. My family and friends needn’t be the only ones who suffer.
Welcome to my Teaching Tuesday. Next week the lessons begin!