Here are a few suggestions and some helpful links.
Read. A lot.
If you are interested in writing picture books, read them. Middle grade novels? Read those. Young Adult? Chapter books? Early Readers? Graphic novels? Read read, read, read.
Visit your local bookstore.
Of course, libraries are awesome too! But at the bookstore you will see the new books and what publishers are putting out. It’s important to know the market.
Write from your heart.
Don’t focus on writing what’s trendy. Because by the time you finish writing your book, chances are the trend will be over.
Hone your craft.
Take a workshop. Take many workshops actually. And learn as much as you can about character, setting, story arc, structure, POV, plotting, pacing etc. etc. Always lots to learn!
Revise, revise, revise!
I think of revision as the actual writing process. Polish your story. Set it aside for a while then read it and polish it again. Repeat X lots = a polished story.
Learn how to format your manuscript.
Learn about querying an agent. Learn the business and professional side of writing for children because writing for children is a business.
For most writers the road to publication is long. Rejection stings. But don’t give up! That only guarantees that it won’t ever happen! Keep on writing and moving forward.
The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators is a wonderful organization with local chapters where you can network, hone your craft, and find an enormous amount of resources and support. The annual local and national conferences are a fantastic way to meet other writers and industry professionals including editors and agents.
Join a writers group.
Get your work critiqued by other writers. Your mom or bff probably won’t offer you the right kind of feedback you need to get your manuscript in shape (unless they write for kids, too!)
Love the craft. ❤️
I write because I love to. If I didn’t love it so much I would have given up a long time ago. Writing for kids is hard work. But when you love what you do, like any job, you look forward to it.