T. James Belich

The Mighty Carrot: Draft Two

After finishing a rough draft of my children's chapter book The Mighty Carrot! back in February, I began the long process of rewriting. It took six months, but recently I finally finished the second draft! I'm sure there are still many more to go, but it felt great to reach that milestone. Being used to writing plays, I'm finding that the rewriting process on this book goes much more slowly than I'm used to. To celebrate I posted on Facebook that I was now looking for readers to give their opinions, especially those willing to read it to their children. The response was overwhelming! A dozen people at least (mostly with young kids) quickly volunteered. It was humbling, to tell you the truth, but also encouraging as I'm finally able to start the process of sharing this story with others. And already I have a few thoughts on how to improve it...

Even when the rewriting is done, another challenge awaits: publishing it. After many years in the playwrighting world, the book publishing world is strange and unfamiliar territory. In some ways it feels like starting over with a whole new vocabulary and set of rules to learn. But writing plays has taught me that what seems like an insurmountable goal (i.e. getting published) isn't so impossible after all if you chip at it a little each day. An old friend of mine, August McLaughlin, writes here about how she recently landed an agent for her book. Hearing of her success has inspired me to keep plugging. After all, as August points out "Not completing your book is the one sure way to not get agented or published." Here, here, my friend. And I'll be one of the first in line to buy a copy.

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