For the first time this year, I participated in PiBoIdMo. I've enjoyed NaNo over the years, but this year, I decided to do something different. When I heard Tara Lazar's blog was sponsoring a Picture Book Idea Month, I was intrigued. The idea is to get a new picture book manuscript idea a day for thirty days. I set up a nifty little system with notecards and so forth, and set some goals. The idea is to get an idea a day, but I wanted to push myself a bit harder. (Because, yes, I am neurotic) First of all, my goal was to write a chapter book this month in addition to participating in PiBoIdMo. But my main PiBoIdMo rule was this: I would only include ideas that I LOVED. Just getting an idea would not be enough. So....I started out of the gate excited and raring to go. And it was HARD. Really hard. Because usually I get my ideas from everywhere BUT sitting around thinking of ideas. It was kind of weird to say, okay, now I'm going to think of an idea every day.
The first few days were kind of strange. I paced around my office, sweating, 'brainstorming', using all the techniques I use with my Odyssey of the Mind team. I wrote pages and pages of art pages trying to come up with something, anything! Each day I came up with SOMETHING, but early on, I wasn't getting ideas that I LOVED, so in my definition, I didn't have anything!
About the fifth day, it kicked in. I mean, really kicked in. All of a sudden the ideas were coming and they were coming on schedule (while I was in my office looking for them!). Then, the ideas began to overflow into my other time. I thought of phrases and characters at the dinner table, in the shower, and woke up with scenarios in my head. I threw all all my original ideas and replaced them with ideas I LOVED. Now, with two days left of PiBoIdMo, I can hardly wait to attack my ideas and write them in earnest. I'm sad to see it end. It has become a magical time to lose myself in creativity every day. Without the pressure to write the whole manuscript or even a draft, I could enjoy the process of fleshing out ideas and playing around until I loved it.
As of today, I have 28 ideas that I am so excited about that they're like puppies tumbling around in my head, climbing one over the other, vying for my attention. I can hardly wait for December when I get to immerse myself in all these great ideas. That's the major difference in NaNoWriMo and PiBoIdMo. With Nano, you can hardly WAIT for the month to end, and then you want to take a big break from writing. You want to take a big break from EVERYTHING because you've let the house fall down around you while you write 2500 words a day. Of course, you're proud and amazed that you've finished yet another manuscript, but still, you're burned out. With PiBoIdMo, I am excited and hopeful about moving forward. I am fueled rather than exhausted. Granted, the task was a LOT easier, but it was still an intense 30 day ride. And I heartily recommend it to all.
SO hold on to your seats, people, because I predict that the best writing I've done in years is about to happen as a result of PiBoIdMo. Thanks, Tara Lazar, and all the PB writers who posted daily inspirations and thoughts this month.
My Mission Statement
I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.