Ok, so for the past month I have been sort of secretly (well, secretly to World of Julie readers) participating in PiBoIdMo. PiBoWHAT? PiBoIdMo is Picture Book Idea Month, a challenge dreamed up by the fabulous Tara Lazar. You come up with roughly one picture book idea a day, so at the end of the month you have 30 ideas. You “win” if you come up with 30 (or more).
Now, I didn’t post about it earlier because I wasn’t sure I could do it. Or, I thought maybe I’d have a list that said, “Dog. Cheese. Canary. Penguin.” which might be 30 ideas, technically, but might be 30 boring, not-very-fleshed-out, duds.
Well, you know how they say that the secret to writing every day is to…write every day? The secret to coming up with a lot of picture book ideas, some of which are actually decent, is to do it every day. This is the thing we forget about creativity. You’re not going to get struck by the muse unless you’re actively seeking her. Making something worthwhile — stories, furniture, children, rock-hard abs — takes hard work. But the most important hard work is the daily small work. You can write a novel by ignoring your life and typing nonstop for a month. Or you can make something worthwhile by working on it for a few minutes a day. That option makes more sense for most of us, and probably makes a better product because you’re actually breathing fresh air and waving hello to people and eating decent sandwiches while you’re being creative.
Anyway, so: yeah! I came up with 43 ideas. Some of them are, more or less, “cheese.” But a few have morphed into early drafts, and some others are a page or two of frantic scribblings, so there’s potential there. I am also very happy that writer Julie Hedlund has launched a new challenge: 12×12 in 2012, where we’re going to turn those PiBoIdMo ideas into drafts.
Having an outside force holding me accountable is very motivating. I’m now actively seeking challenges like CleHoEvDa (Clean Your House Every Day) and DoFoHoChi (Don’t Forget to Homeschool the Children).