Stacked in Our Favor

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Sunday, May 8, 2011

NaPiBoWriWee Wrap Up

This is the second year I’ve participated in NaPiBoWriWee. Last year it seemed like a huge challenge and commitment. I voraciously read the resources on Paula Yoo’s blog. As well I should. She provides great inspiration and the comraederie is wonderful.

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. 


Julie Hedlund said...

I love your wrap-up. Many congratulations for finishing! Next year I really do hope to get one written all 7 days. This year I got 2.5. :-)

I also completely agree that NaPiBoWriWee works perfectly in tandem with PiBoIdMo. In fact, I looked forward to going back into those ideas to see which ones I thought were the most promising.

Anyway, great job!

Lynda Shoup said...

Julie, you are speedy. I only posted this five minutes ago!

Good for you getting 2.5 done! You have your hands quite full these days. Hope you had a nice Mother's Day.

Anonymous said...

I think I should just post a link to your blog and say, 'I'm saying what she's say'. Although I think your writing process was much smoother than mine this year. Only one day could I really 'think' about my story before 9pm. My head was so cluttered with other *life* thinks. :P

Congratulations! (And love your new pic.)

Lynda Shoup said...

Thanks, Kat. The honest truth is that the 7 I wrote this year may just BE the junk books I needed to write to figure it out. Still, I've got them out of the way.

You deserve a great, big congratulations for throwing yourself into despite all of what life has to offer.