≡ Menu

Please Help My Youngest Fan Overcome His Writer’s Block!

All right, so if you didn’t know, I used to be afraid of sharks. Then I received a book in the mail, the greatest book of all time.  Then I wasn’t scared anymore, thanks to my friend and youngest fan, Ethan. I made him promise that he would write another book. I was so grateful that I sent him a Christmas card with a bent nail in it.

Ethan liked it so much that last week he mailed a backpack to me, a backpack with sharks all over it that he and his mom made. You’re thinking, that’s wonderful, and you’re right. My toddler Max liked it as well–it’s just his size and it arrived on his birthday, as if it was planned…

But what is not as wonderful is the frustrated letter that accompanied the backpack.


Thank you Josh for the bent nail and the letter. What do you want me to right a book about next because I’m out of ideas?

Young master Ethan is out of ideas and he wants to write another book. If you are unfamiliar with his work, please read my review of The Book of Sharks. Get a feel for who Ethan is as an artist, and let’s brainstorm some ideas for his next work.

I am going to suggest a book about saber-toothed rabbits.

Let’s get to work! Ethan, help is on the way.


If you liked this post, please Subscribe To The RSS feed.

And if you liked the post, you’ll love the newsletter.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Ryan G February 24, 2010, 1:41 am

    Saber-toothed rabbits CAN be fearsome (queue the Holy Grail music), but what about branching out and giving us something about natural disasters?

  • Kris Wragg February 24, 2010, 5:41 am

    I think he should stick with sea creatures and do either a book on turtles, or maybe on giant sea creatures, like the giant squid and giant crab! 🙂

    • Larissa February 24, 2010, 11:25 am

      We were at the tide pools on Valentine’s Day, and he spent most of his time looking for a giant clam in order to find a giant pearl. . . . the boy loves the ocean. 🙂

      • Kris Wragg February 24, 2010, 12:18 pm

        I gather you live in the US? If you can get hold of the BBC’s “The Blue Planet” I think he’d enjoy it as it covers all different aspects of sea life, from coastal animals/fish to the deep with all sorts of weird creatures 🙂

        It’s available on DVD in the UK but I have no idea about in the US.

        • Larissa February 24, 2010, 1:00 pm

          We do live in the US, but that sounds amazing! Most of the time I can find BBC films on Netflix, so I will try there first. 🙂 Thanks so much, Kris!

          • Kris Wragg February 24, 2010, 1:48 pm

            It comes on 3 DVD’s I believe and there are 8 episodes altogether. He will enjoy it!

            If you can’t find it then there are still plenty of other documentaries on the Ocean, I’m a big fan of Richard Attenborough stuff personally!

          • Justin Matthews February 24, 2010, 1:58 pm

            you can get it at Costco or on Amazon. I think it is at Walmart as well.

  • Heather February 24, 2010, 7:48 am

    Josh, please forward this to Ethan:

    Dear Ethan,

    I read your most excellent book on sharks. Here are some suggestions to overcome your writer’s block:

    What other animals do you like? How about a book about one of those?

    If you could be a superhero, what would your superhero name be, and what kind of cool stuff would you do?

    How about a book about a guy who bends nails who has a dog that can talk? They could go on adventures!

    What is your favorite season or holiday? How about a book about that?

    I hope this helps you write your next book!

    Heather, who is a friend of Josh’s who is trying to help out.

  • ami February 24, 2010, 8:43 am

    I liked the suggestion from the review post: bees.

    Or other types of bugs – the bigger and scarier, the better!

    • Josh Hanagarne February 24, 2010, 10:44 am

      I like the bees idea as well.

      • Larissa February 24, 2010, 11:17 am

        LOL Ethan remembered that idea as well, and, for whatever reason, he refuses to write about bees. 😀 But he does like all kinds of other bugs, so maybe those will be in the running. 🙂

  • Larry February 24, 2010, 10:25 am

    Ethan — try this: close your eyes and think what you’d do tomorrow if you could do anything in the world. Money is no object. If you need superpowers, that’s cool, too. You can do anything at all tomorrow, with anyone you want… you can go anywhere, do anything, help somebody, see something cool… whatever you want.

    Now, with your dream day in mind, think of something or somebody that wants to stop you from doing it. Give them a reason to stop you, something THEY want instead, even if it doesn’t make sense (it just needs to make sense to them).

    Somebody is blocking your path to what you want to do tomorrow. How would you get around them? How would you defeat this foe and end up with what you want?

    Got it?

    Now… write a story about it all.

    Stories are always about somebody needing or wanting something, and there’s always something or somebody in their way. There’s other stuff, too, but this is the core of every story. Now that you know it, you will notice it in all the movies, TV shows and books you enjoy.

  • Jez Davis February 24, 2010, 10:56 am


    All I have is a title. I don’t know what the book’s about, but you’re welcome to the title:

    ‘The Shark of Books’

  • justin matthews February 24, 2010, 11:03 am

    I had a suggestion too but Larry did it so much better! I have learned tons from him. I too enjoyed Ethans book on sharks. I think the ocean theme would be good for him to keep with.

    Way to support our future writers Josh! Let’s get him a blog at wordpress.com

    • Larissa February 24, 2010, 11:23 am

      I’m Ethan’s mom, and let me tell you that giving that kid a blog would be a scary thing, Justin! 😀 He talks a mile a minute and comes up with some crazy stuff. The first thing out of his mouth this morning was him recalling a flip that he did on his snow sled two years ago. 🙂
      It would be fun, though, to see what things he would choose to write about. . . .

      • Shane Hudson February 24, 2010, 1:15 pm

        I think it would be a great idea for him to have a blog! I am sure every single person here that knows anything about blogging would be more than willing to help him with it! I think it is a GREAT idea and it would be an excellent way for him to learn (about technology, and improve spelling etc.) at a young age.

        • Justin Matthews February 24, 2010, 1:56 pm

          we could totally set up a shark themed site and let him rant for hours about whatever he knows. There are tons of us who would help out, even to posting content for him until he can do it himself.

  • Liz February 24, 2010, 11:48 am

    My nephew is a huge fan of squids and we’ve found there are far too few non-fiction books about squids in the library. Ethan, we’d love it if you could write a book all about squids.

    Also, I’m allergic to bees and my heart races anytime I hear buzzing. If your shark book helped Josh stop fearing sharks, maybe a book about bees could help me!

    And whatever you do, keep writing. The world needs more young authors!


  • Jessica Marie February 24, 2010, 4:57 pm

    I would continue with the sea theme. There are so many kinds of fish that it can be hard to tell them apart. It would be nice to have a book with pictures to help with this. Also, I think the squid idea from Liz is an excellent.

  • Boris Bachmann February 24, 2010, 6:09 pm

    Squids are great. Jellyfish are cool too. How about a man o’ war who wants peace?

  • Keith Lau February 24, 2010, 11:29 pm

    A book about how Bears Beats Battlestar Galactica.

  • Casey February 25, 2010, 10:52 am


    I love to write stories about people who don’t win all the time or don’t come out on top. I think that a lot of times the story of the 2nd place finisher is better than the story of the winner.

    Also I love side kicks. I don’t know if that helps.

    Also also, I want you to know that I wrote a song called shark attack and my band plays it and you totally inspired it. As you might guess it focuses on sharks, and it is an uptempo rock song. When we get a recording of it I will send it to Josh and ask him to send it to you.