Sir: As the author of 16 children's books, may I say that I found Virginia Ironside's "advice" to the would-be children's author harsh (Dilemmas, 6 August). Whenever people ask my advice about becoming a journalist or an author I tell them, yes, it's tough on the street and you have to study the market, know the form, and prepare yourself for disappointment. But I also make a point of invoking Goethe's sublime statement of encouragement: "Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now."