Just start somewhere

Whenever I mention to those with more talent and experience in writing that everything I release is essentially a very rough draft, I can see a slight grimace forming at the corner of their mouth. To release a story that is not perfectly formed is not best practice.

Our listeners don’t seem to mind too much, as children tend to possess an interesting combination of open appreciation, criticality, and forgiveness of the less-than-perfect.

This allows us to produce more stories on a tight time schedule. You can’t expect perfection if you only have 3 hours or so to write something new.

Eventually, some investment in time and money must be made in editing so that the stories can be released in different mediums for reading. Without the benefit of Sheryl’s voice and my music, the accuracy of the word becomes more important. With hundreds of stories, it is difficult to know where to start, but that’s where the uniqueness of our model comes into play.

I have access to the listening data, regular communication from listeners, and comments and reviews of all our stories, which tells me which resonates most with kids. So, while I may like the story about a Mermaid visiting Souris, it turns out that the most listened-to story was about a mouse in a barn. In fact, over the course of a year, Nibbles the Mouse has been listened to hundreds of thousands of times. I have no idea why.

In the Montague Community School writing class, we were asked to submit a story to share during the final banquet. The teacher graciously offered to edit each of our stories and then print off copies that others could take home. So I took the opportunity to send her a copy of Nibbles the Mouse, and now I have a far more complete version. I think she was slightly taken aback by my copyright message on the first page. It was a bit heavy-handed (it had a reprinted with permission message), and I hummed and hawed, but in the end, I acquiesced to the instruction I received from lawyers.

With a more polished version, I can find an editor and an illustrator and start creating prototypes to see what format best fits these stories.