Just Show Up at the Page

Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo) is over.  You know what has amazed me about the month? I truly didn’t know I had so many picture book ideas in me. I really didn’t know I had that much inspiration inside of me. Taking off the pressure to produce good ideas and just aiming to produce ideas, opened the flood gates.

And you know what else? They aren’t all bad ideas, there are good ideas in there too. It reminds of one of Julia Cameron’s recommendations in The Artist’s Way: Just show up to the page. Her theory is if you don’t show up to the page (i.e.-work on your manuscript or painting or whatever), it really won’t be anything. But if you show up to the page, you will produce something, even if you do it poorly some or most days, you are bound to eventually produce something. She also says that ugly stages in writing and painting are necessary as part of growth and so not to fear them and definitely not to give up because of them. Work through the ugly stage, according to her, you are on the cusp of a breakthrough.
The only bad part of PiBoIdMo was that I didn’t do as much writing itself.  However, I have been comparing it to gardening in my head.  If you don’t plant seeds, you won’t get any produce.  So this was my planting month.  Now the ideas can germinate and hopefully some of them will sprout:)

Another part of PiBoIdMo has been daily emails of inspiration by published authors and illustrators. One author expanded on the idea of allowing oneself to just produce ideas. She said it can be intimidating to move to the next step and develop the ideas and write the stories.  There can be fear of failure. To get over that, she said don’t aim to write the next best thing in picture books, aim to write a sh**ty first draft. That way if it is REALLY sh**ty, you have done a great job!  And heck, it got you writing.

So in the spirit of non-pressure, which seemed to work so well for me with PiBoIdMo, I am going aim on writing lots of sh**ty first drafts over the next year:)

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