Tuesday, November 18, 2014

PiBoIdMo - Picture Book Idea Month 2014

What a year – what a month!

The year is almost up as I write this, and for me it’s been a whirlwind, busy, exciting year of writing. Not only was my young adult ebook ‘Newbie Nick’ released by Lycaon Press, but I’ve had many publications with Chicken Soup for the Soul (find out more at www.lisamcmanuslange.blogspot.com) and I have been busy, busy, busy writing….

While waiting to hear back from a publisher on two children’s/young adult books, I have been working on another book for teens – about a boy and his genie. When I’m working on a book, I am in deep thinking/planning/plotting mode and I find it hard to focus on anything else. I have to stay ‘in the book.’

However, sometimes I have to force myself to take a break from it, to let things germinate and ripen. I never stray too far from it, though – doing so can be catastrophic as too much/too long time away can slow down my flow in the story.

But recently a little side project came up – not a ‘project’ but a ‘creativity-builder.’ Fellow young adult author, Jenny Watson, author of ‘Prove it Josh’ (Sono Nis Press), told me about a month-long creativity group. PiBoIdMo – Picture Book Idea Month – was established back in 2009 by Tara Lazar, and it’s continued every year.

The concept is to come up with an idea (or more) a day for the month of November. ‘Registering’ via their website holds you accountable – once you’ve ‘told’ someone about it, you’re kind of committed. And it’s simple – you’re not writing a story – you’re just jotting down an idea (or more) a day, and at the end of the month, guess what? You have 30, or more, ideas to work with! One idea fosters another, and then another, and then another. The PiBoIdMo is fabulous, and the Facebook support page is even better – everyone shares ideas and experiences to inspire and encourage other writers.

For me, given we are ¾ of the way through the month as I write this, I have found participating in this event more rewarding than I had ever imagined. I have come up with at least 5 or 6 ideas a day, whether it’s simply jotting down a book title, a concept, or a sentence – it’s something – and creativity begets creativity and all that.

So mark your calendars for next year and register for the idea-building month. Or better yet, start your own Picture Book Idea Month – stay committed and get writing!