NaPiBoWriWee week was last month, and I attempted to write seven picture books in seven days. That didn’t go so well, but I did manage to write three picture books, edit two picture book manuscripts that I had written a few weeks earlier, and come up with four new picture book ideas.
I think that’s the point of NaPiBoWriWee week … even if you don’t hit your goal of writing seven picture books in seven weeks, you are much closer to your goal by just attempting it.
Next year, I will actually do some work prior to NaPiBoWriWee week so that I’ll have seven picture book ideas already conceived, with notes and research for each book. This is probably the only way I can actually pull off seven picture books in seven day.
My best idea from NaPiBoWriWee is a picture book idea about a dog talking to a cat about becoming a reading dog. I also working on two ideas around Samurai. One idea is about a Samurai sword — perhaps a katana — that tells the story of Japanese Interment and also the history of the sword back in Feudal Japan. I’m also working on a more playful Samurai concept. I’m working on researching this right now.
I had a picture book idea with an environmental theme that I wrote a few weeks prior to the NaPiNoWriWee challenge when I was on vacation in Florida that I did edits and revisions for: But Is It Yours To Keep?
A baby bunny nest that my husband found in our yard is the basis for another picture book manuscript that feels like a boring version of Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Peter Rabbit. I need to scrap it and rewrite it. The baby bunny nest, however, is a big event in our house. A second baby bunny nest was discovered across the street at our neighbor’s house, and the baby bunnies are now running all over our street to everyone’s great excitement.
This writing challenged reminded me that I have two middle grade chapter books that I started a long time ago but are not very far along. After this experience, I feel like I can tackle National Novel Writing Month, which is thirty days to draft a book. It’s not so much that the first draft is going to be good — it’s not. But it’s giving yourself permission to try. While this event is for the month of November — another busy month — it can also be done at any time.
In fact, isn’t that the point of these writing challenges? These can also be done at any time. Once you’ve done it once though, the training wheels can come off, and you can do it without the support of a group.
My biggest learning takeaway, though, is the length of time that it takes to get a picture book finished. I wasn’t sure if I had the patience to edit and revise over and over again. Or the attention span to stick with a book idea … blogging is the opposite of writing books. It’s fast with no deadline where the post can’t be edited one more time.
There are a seemingly endless list of events or groups to get authors started. Each is its journey with a lot of learning along the way. I am grateful to Paula Yoo helping me on mine.
p.s. My other posts on #AmWriting
BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.