Today, KIDLIT COLLEGE Celebrates Danielle Joseph

Hone Your Skills, Write Like You Mean It

by Danielle Joseph

One of the hardest thing about becoming an author is that you never know when publication is going to happen. There is no magic formula or exact timeline of when you will get your big break. The most important thing is that you continue to hone your skills along the way.

Part of this means writing what’s in your heart. SHRINKING VIOLET is my first published book, but not the first manuscript that I wrote. It was actually my fifth manuscript. What was different with this book? There is no exact answer to that, but I do know that it was a combination of a few things. For one, my writing greatly improved with each manuscript. A couple of my other stories came close to being sold, but perhaps the timing was not right. We certainly have no control over the market, so that’s why it’s so important to write about a subject you are passionate about.

For SHRINKING VIOLET it was important for me to write about a shy teen who was trying to overcome her own obstacles in order to make her dreams come true. I used my experience working in radio as the vehicle to tell Tere’s story. I was also shy growing up, although not as shy as Tere. I dove deep and wrote about a subject I’m very passionate about—music. And then I just wrote and wrote, not worrying about if this would be the story that I sold as my first book. Furthermore, I took all that I had learned from my other manuscripts and applied this to Tere’s story.

There is no such thing as wasted time if you learn from every story, every book that you write. Each manuscript is a building block to your success. The more you write, the stronger your writing gets. This is especially true if you’re a good listener. I truly feel that listening has a lot to do with writing. As writers, we need to listen to the word around us. Not only in pulling out bits and pieces from news articles or headlines or snippets of people’s conversations at coffee shops, but we also need to listen to our critique partners. I do believe that my critique group played a great part in me growing as a writer and eventually reaching publication.

It’s important to have people to bounce ideas off of and let us know if what we’ve written makes sense. Listen to your critique partners and readers and I guarantee that you will grow with each paragraph, each chapter, each manuscript that your write. The writing process can get very frustrating at times, but this is all a part of your building blocks to success. If you aren’t part of an in-person critique group, then join one online.

Often after you apply suggestions that someone gave you on one book, it will carry over to your next project. This inevitably makes your writing stronger and you stronger in turn. You can always go back to your old manuscripts and revise them, but at the same time it’s so important to move ahead with your own skills, keep on growing.

Write like you mean it. Write because you find passion in the art of storytelling. Write because you love it and the rest will come.

More About Danielle. Danielle Joseph is the author of three young adult novels, SHRINKING VIOLET (S & S), INDIGO BLUES and PURE RED (FLUX). SHRINKING VIOLET was made into the 2012 Disney Channel movie, RADIO REBEL. Danielle received her BFA in Creative Writing and her MA in Marketing and Advertising from Emerson College. She is excited to announce that she just finished writing her first chapter book, GLORY MILES AND THE PARTY DRESS MESS. The story was inspired by her own biracial daughter and her daughter’s desire to see faces like hers in the pages of the chapter books that she reads.

Visit Danielle online at www.daniellejoseph.com, on Facebook as Danielle Cohen Joseph or as Danielle Joseph on her author's page, as well as Twitter and Instagram as daniellejoseph1

Here's a glimpse at Danielle's books:

More about Danielle. Danielle Joseph is the author of three young adult novels, SHRINKING VIOLET (S & S), INDIGO BLUES and PURE RED (FLUX). SHRINKING VIOLET was made into the 2012 Disney Channel movie, RADIO REBEL. Danielle received her BFA in Creative Writing and her MA in Marketing and Advertising from Emerson College. She is excited to announce that she just finished writing her first chapter book, GLORY MILES AND THE PARTY DRESS MESS. The story was inspired by her own biracial daughter and her daughter’s desire to see faces like hers in the pages of the chapter books that she reads. Visit Danielle online at www.daniellejoseph.com


Today, we will gift-away a copy of Danielle's book, Shrinking Violet, and a seat in Ariel Richardson's How to Create and Submit a Novelty Book webinar LIVE on April 29th.

To win, please post and social media share our upcoming three webinars: Digging In with Neal Porter, Chapter Book Building Blocks, and Page Turns & Dummy's with Ann Whitford Paul, and let us know where you posted—tag me if you can!

Post your comments here in our B'Day Bash COURSE, on our BLOG.