Does a Writer Get Grumpy? Some advice for writers in the wild about being kind (to themselves) Moira Butterfield

 In May I have a new book out with illustrator Adam Ming and publisher Bloomsbury. It’s called Does A Monkey Get Grumpy? and it introduces children to specific animal feelings –what we know about them and why we should be as understanding and kind as possible to our friends in the animal world. 

But what about writers? When do they get grumpy, sad, excited or scared? Let’s take a sneaky peek at writers in the wild! (And pay tribute to Adam's great art!) 


PS: I didn’t spend much time 

on the blog text rhyme. 



Feeling Grumpy 

Grumpy? How a writer feels

when celebs get big fat kids’ book deals! 

Fiddlesticks! Not another celeb book! 

Let it go. It’s the way of the world and there’s nothing to be done. 

Instead concentrate on doing the best YOU can. 

Forget it. Chill and do your thing instead! 

 Feeling Happy 

Got an achievement to celebrate? 

Shout about it now! Don’t wait! 

We want to hear the good news! Spread it! 


It might be your natural manner not to shout from the rooftops because you’ve always been told not to show off. Well, forget that, I say! If you’ve achieved something in your writing and you’re feeling happy, definitely tell everyone! You deserve praise.  If somebody thinks you’re showing off, so what? It’s their problem. 

Show off! Celebrate! Tell everyone! 


Feeling Sad 

When an idea you worked on fails, 

It may feel as if you wasted time. 

It’s easy to feel down and sad

and think that all your writing’s bad. 

We all feel this way about our work sometimes. 

This a natural and understandable feeling but in fact everything you do leads to everything else you do so it cannot be that you wasted time. You think. You learn. You move forward. In fact success comes from repeated failures almost 100% of the time, and even the most successful creators keep failing as they go forward. It’s a myth to think otherwise. So swear a bit, eat a treat, go out in the sun away from work for a little while…and then dust yourself down for the next stage. 


Feeling excited 

It’s such a great feeling…Pop, pop, pop… 

…when you’re writing well and just can’t stop! 

Feeling like a bouncy guinea pig? Hurrah! 

 Enjoy! This kind of high is the fabulous reward of being a creative! 


Feeling scared 

Don’t ever be scared about your work. 

Cos , look… 

…It’s just a book.  

Always remember. Whatever happens...It's just a book. 


Feeling playful 

Leave your keyboard sometimes, right? 

And play 

in a different way. 

Make sure you play! 


Go and paint or walk or scribble a silly poem or explore a new street or do some dancing. Whatever. Creatives need to play creatively away from their work. It enriches everything.


Feeling lonely 

It’s easy to feel isolated 

when you write 

day and night.  


You are not alone. Network with some writing friends locally or join an online community. There are lots of great ones! 

And so....Just before I go...



 Moira Butterfield is one of the founders of the Picture Book Den Blog and an internationally-published author of picture book non-fiction and illustrated non-fiction for 7+. Her newest books are out in May: Does a Monkey Get Grumpy, illustrated by Adam Ming and published by Bloomsbury. The Secret Life of Oceans, illustrated by Vivienne Minneker and published by Happy Yak.

twitter @moiraworld 

instagram @moirabutterfieldauthor


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