December is the finale for the 12 x 12 in 2012 challenge.
When I sat down in January with my notebook of 2011 PiBoIdMo Ideas (Thanks, Tara!), the challenge seemed like a gimme. A picture book should be no more than 1,000 words (preferably under 500) so that works out to 6,000 to 12,000 words—in a year. The NaMoWriMo folks would bust a gut thinking anyone could be stymied by word counts like this.
But it wasn’t so easy. Wholly apart from the demands of home and hearth, part of the problem for me was that I don’t just write picture books. I write middle grade novels and nonfiction. Carving out time to really focus on twelve new picture books was—a challenge.
The great thing was, amazing writers posted their own stories of success and words of encouragement on Julie’s website. These mental nudges were a gentle reminder of what I wanted to do. The dust bunnies and weedy garden could wait. Other writers revved my creative engine and brought me back to my own picture book stories.
I love picture books and I’m glad I completed the challenge even though all twelve aren’t shiny works of art yet. I love thinking about the way words and art play off each other in good picture books. I love the sudoku-like challenge of completing a story arc in 28-30 pages. And maybe I shouldn’t admit it, but I love the way new picture books smell.
One unexpected bonus of the 12 x 12 challenge is I finally started this blog! On the same day that Julie posted a December 12th date for the end of year success party, a critique friend talked about choosing the perfect website moniker. What was I waiting for? I put my jets in gear. Photos are yet to come, but the process has begun. I’m way out at the beginning of the learning curve, so I’d be grateful if you’d leave your comments and suggestions about the blog/website experience.
Thanks for visiting!