This year, I had plenty on my plate. By all that is sane, I should have excused myself and lurked jealously, but I had looked forward to the challenge all year long. NaPiBoWriWee 2010 is how I met my cherished writer buddies – buddies who have cheered me on the whole year since. I jumped in this year thinking that each Picture Book I wrote would be more to add to my file – good, bad or in between. I may have worried each one into existence usually crossing the finish line just before bedtime each day, but finish I did. There are a few which are near the front of my editing stack.
I found time to tweet compatriots on the road, but I only managed one blog post. Sorry Paula and to those who I might have reached with information about this great event.
This year I was prepared to write using the ideas I came up with during PiBoIdMo. So I did not need to think of a brand new idea and do the writing each day. This made it simple. Last year the week seemed long and the writing hard. This year I did not experience it that way. It’s like I’ve built up the muscles the task requires over the past year. Time was in short supply this year, but the act of writing itself seemed easier. Perhaps it was easier to accept that these are drafts that can be edited into something better. I had more confidence that I could do it.
What I have learned this time around:
1. The practice of writing does indeed make the job easier.
2. Community, online or off, is a precious thing.
3. Pacing picture book writing throughout the year is helpful to sustaining momentum. PiBoIdMo in November, NaPiBoWriWee in May, and PB Dummy Challenge (which I have failed, but lurked and learned from) between the two. Hope these challenges continue to be offered.
4. Finding people who write Picture Books is very helpful in writing them. Not all my writer friends have the interest or understanding of the genre. It is important to maintain contacts with people who share the types of writing you enjoy doing.
5. I need to work on my system for tracking Picture Book ideas, drafts, and almost done manuscripts.
6. I have many aspects of picture books to explore. I feel like I need to write some that are junk stories in order to explore different aspects of writing picture books.
Thanks, Paula, for running this challenge. I look forward to doing it again next year. I’m sure that NaPiBoWriWee 2012 will yield new observations and skill sets.
If you’ve missed it this year, I’d still suggest you take a look at Paula’s blog. She provides great writing resources, writing advice and author/illustrator interviews. All of this is helpful not only for the yet to be published author, but also for the lovers of picture books everywhere.