Friday, November 18, 2011

Andrea reaches out an electronic helping hand

I’ve been interested in writing for a long time now, and decided I want to focus on writing books for children.  When I started my focus, I planned to learn all I could about the world of children’s publishing.  I wanted to read books, attend seminars, join a critique group, take classes…anything I could to learn as much about the business and craft of writing for children as I could.

But I have one small problem: I’m disabled. This limits the amount of activity, traveling and attending classes that I can do. Even the easiest task of trying to figure out how to get to my local library for a writer’s group, and to check out books to read, was not so easy for me. I was ready to pull my hair out.

I was racking my brain, trying to figure out what I could do to work around my obstacles. I asked anybody and everybody I could think of for advice: my family, online groups, even my old journalism teachers. But I still couldn’t find the answers.

Then, one day, I was reading Page after Page by Heather Sellers, and the answer came to me. There was a section about reading more, and visiting your local library for books. I rolled my eyes and groaned as I read this, because I already knew that was an obstacle for me. But the next sentence changed everything: it said that many libraries now offer mail programs to check out books. It was like a miracle had just happened. Why hadn’t I thought to look into this before?

Andrea Buginsky
I called my local library and asked about a program like this, and got the best answer I could have. I was told about a books-by-mail program that was available in my county for disabled residents. I applied, was accepted, and started receiving every book I ever wanted to read in my mailbox. Unfortunately, the program ended about a year later. But it opened my eyes to other possibilities that might be out there for the taking.

I realized that with the Internet, I could do everything I wanted to do with my writing online. I found a wonderful website called Goodreads that offers reading and writing groups, including a critique group. There are online writing classes available from many different places, such as Writer’, that I can attend. There is an annual free online writer’s conference offered by MuseitUp Publishing every October. And I can research more writing information and resources than I’ll ever need on the Internet.

Technology is a wonderful thing, and it has definitely helped me move forward in my education on writing children’s books. If you ever feel that you can’t do something because it’s too far away, or you don’t have the time or ability to go to events you want to attend, remember to check the Internet and see what events are available for you to attend from your own home.


  1. Great post, too often we find out that our limitations are only those that we impose upon our ourselves. A nasty voice in our heads that says that we can't do something.

    Thank you for the timely reminder that many resources are at our fingertips (and keyboards) due to the Internet. I've also been delighted to encounter so many other authors willing to offer their support online.

    My new motto: Just Google It!

  2. Well said Carrie! I'm so delighted with the infinite knowledge to be had.

  3. Andrea!

    Thank you for this powerful, inspiring post! It may take time to find it, but there's always a way.

    And you also remind me that we should lobby with our local libraries to reinstate books-by-mail programs.

    Best Wishes,

    Writing as AR silverberry

  4. Thanks, Carrie and A.R. I'm glad you both enjoyed the post and found it useful.

    A.R., I hope the lobbying works! Good luck :)