Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Picture Book Idea Month

I survived the Picture Book Idea Month challenge in November. 

Last week, I used this post to give a shout out to PiBoIdMo mama Tara Lazar.

Today, I wanted to share what I did over the 30-day challenge.

My stats: 
  • On index cards, I scribbled 55 ideas.
  • On my iPhone, I tapped out 153 ideas onto the yellow-looking notepad app.
  • In a random spiral notebook, four ideas are outlined.
Before anyone freaks out, let me explain. I wrote down every idea. 
  • If it popped into my head, I wrote down my thoughts. 
  • If I began writing and thought it could be a repeat idea, I ignored the thought. 
  • If I continued to write, I added a new angle or details. 
My love of six-word stories shows through in a few ideas as that's all I have. For others, I wrote until no more words fit on my index card. 

Some common themes involve dogs, family and rules — well, a child breaking rules mostly. The presence of several flag ideas indicates that November was a windy month. 

While I managed to meet my idea goal, I failed to finish reading and work my way through Ann Whitford Paul's book Writing Picture Books:  A Hands-On Guide from Story Creation to PublicationA few excuses are involved with this one — the baby ate my homework. Well not exactly, but I'm sure Enzo would eat the book if given the opportunity. Several nonfiction titles I had on hold at the library arrived and I needed to read them, so I could pass them on to the next reader.

I also:
  • dabbled in some goal setting for 2012
  • wrote a first draft of a personal essay 
  • wrote a devotional for my church's Advent devotion book (My first one! Yikes!)
I was honored to have these wonderful ladies share their time and talent here. I'm grateful they wrote guest posts on picture books:
I still have a lot of work to do with my ideas — sorting, deleting, writing, thinking, deleting again, etc. I have to stay focused, because Julie Hedlund at Write Up My Life has a 12 x 12 in 2012 Picture Book Writing Challenge  — an effort to spur us on to write those ideas (or at least 12) into manuscripts. 

See I really need to read Ann Whitford Paul's book! 

Thanks again to Tara Lazar for organizing the challenge. If you missed a post during the challenge or need another dose of inspiration, visit her blog Writing for Kids (While Raising Them). I'm so thankful I participated in the challenge this year. 

So, how did your November writing challenge go or just with your writing in general?


  1. Wow! You did great coming up with ideas! I really learned a lot in PiBoIdMo. I really liked reading about how authors come up with ideas for picture books :)

  2. I, too, am grateful to Tara for PiBoIdMo and really looking forward to Julie's 12X12! I didn't come up with nearly as many ideas as you did - only 34 for me - not as many as last year - but I'm happy to have them. Ann's book is great - good luck getting it finished :)

  3. Wow! Awesome word, Stacy!

    This was my first time participating in a challenge like this, and I was delighted with not only the experience of so many ideas flooding into my brain (32, many of them keepers), but also the fantastic guest posts and the amazing community that has developed.

    Now I'm thinking about Julie's 12x12 challenge...

  4. @thiskidreviewsbook-I love finding out how published books came to be. Typically, it's an unexpected story.
    @Susanna-I think once I sort through all the ideas I may find more of an outline on the repetitive ones.
    @elizabethanne - the idea challenge definitely helped me form a few new "writing" habits. Now, to continue them ...

  5. Holy catfish! You got a lot done. You should be very pleased! I enjoyed your PiBo month.

  6. Stacy, you are positively prolific. And with a toddler at hand! I finished NaNo, won. I found out I could write 6k in one day. Whew. Cheers to creative energy!

  7. Congrats on all your accomplishments! I finished NaNo and am taking a short break to catch up on reading some books!

  8. @Karen - Oh I have lots of revising and editing to do before any of those ideas can become a story.
    @TM - Congrats on discovery that well of 6k words. Congrats on NaNo. The toddler generated many story ideas. :)
    @Coleen - Yes. Best to take a break to regroup. I like to sneak in a book or two as well. Enjoy.

  9. Wow, you got a lot done in the month of November! Congratulations!


  10. Stacy, I'm in awe of your accomplishments. Congratulations on making such huge strides. You've given me the idea to track what I accomplish too. Otherwise, I get to the end of the month and wonder what I've done. :)

  11. Stacy, you had a very productive month! Thanks for sharing your methods -- fun and interesting. I am grateful to Tara too -- I managed to come up with 34 ideas, with about five or six with good potental. So, I'm happy.

    If you have time you may want to check out the Christmas interview I did with Michael Garland and his new book yesterday -- think Enzo would love this one -- Michael gave me interior art for the blog. Would be interested in his response.

  12. You had more than me. But I won!!!!!!! Yay! I'm doing the 12x12 too. Should be an interesting year. I am thankful I'm starting it with you. *waving*

    And it was an honor to do a guest post on your blog, my friend.

  13. Stacy, that is unbelievable! Really! It makes me think perhaps I censor myself too much when it comes to the idea phase.

    Thanks for your shout-out of the 12x12 challenge. I'm very excited.

    I was honored to be a guest blogger for you - my first one ever!

    I've only read half of Ann's book too. Perhaps we can commit to getting through it before the end of December in preparation for the 12x12?

  14. @Debbie - The list of things to do never ends.
    @Sheila- I'm not much of a tracker, except for the written and mental "to do" lists. With the November challenge it reminds you to keep track a bit more.
    @Patricia - I may have five or six good ones too. Once I'm finished with my sorting, organizing and deleting.
    @Robyn - I look forward to the 12x12 with everyone. Oh, accountability and an upcoming critique meeting will keep me moving forward.
    @Julie - I tried to think of the idea challenge like the NaNoWriMo - write, don't edit, just write. So, I did that when an idea arrived. Ann's book might be my "plane book" in a few weeks.

  15. Wow, great job, Stacy! I awarded you the Liebster award on my author blog yesterday if you want to claim it.

  16. Thank you Jennifer. I appreciate that.


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