Saturday, October 29, 2011

It's PiBoIdMo time!

Go to Tara Lazar's blog to read more.

PiBoIdMo is Picture Book Idea Month -- join the group and commit to thinking up an idea per day for a picture book. Read the official blog for inspiration each day. At the end of the month, choose the ideas you like best from your collection of 30, and maybe finish one. Sell it, repeat.

Click here to go to PiBoIdMo
The picture book has taken a bit of a beating lately in the press.
Some e-book supporters are quick to say the paper book is a relic.
An October, 2010 New York Times article claimed parents are pushing their kids to read more complex books, younger, and suggested parents don't find value in books that have to be read aloud to their kids, as picture books are meant to be shared. This set off a torrent of responses, including this charming one from an elementary school and this one in the Horn Book, more recently.

The truth is, the publishing world is changing (as is every other part of our world). To be alive is to change. I don't know where it's all going. Nobody does. Until we find out, I say we quit wringing our hands. Embrace your creativity, keep reading, keep writing, and keep encouraging kids.

I'm joining PiBoWriMo for several reasons:
- I wanted to join last year but didn't because I was trying NaNoWriMo for the first time and didn't want to split my effort. That's National Novel Writing Month, also held during the 30 days of November, and it's the long version of PiBo: Write a 50,000 word novel in a month. Stephen King writes that fast (though I hope his editors don't). Last year I ultimately met my goal for NaNoWriMo -- I wrote an Ellie McDoodle book in a month. The hard part was achieving a 50,000 word count for a 17,000-word book. I counted edits and rewrites, of course. And since a picture is worth a thousand words, I should have been able to add 170,000 to my final word count. Since the work I do is often half art, half text, and I am often on deadline, it can't always be shoehorned to fit the NaNoWriMo parameters. But it fits PiBoWriMo.
(Shutta Crum is doing both PiBoWriMo and NaNoWriMo this year. Cheer her on -- she'll need it.)

Why else I am joining PiBoIdMo:

- Before I started writing and illustrating Ellie McDoodle books, I tried creating picture books. I really thought that'd be my big mark on the world. Maybe it still will be. This is one way to find out.

- I have a neat idea for a picture book going right now. It'll take a while to write, edit and illustrate, but I'm excited about the idea and I figure, what better time to fire up the brain to think of more good ideas than when I'm already bogged down with something else? No, I meant, already stoked and paying attention to the sweet whispers of of the muse.

Are you thinking maybe you've got some picture book ideas that need corralling? Got a novel idea you'd like to explore? Push yourself to join PiBoIdMo or NaNoWriMo -- you won't know what you're capable of until you try.

(Hey, I just found out my writer husband Charlie has joined PiBoWriMo too -- awesome!)

2 comments:

literaryfriendships said...

Go Ruth! Go Charlie! I've never done anything like this before, but I signed up, too (even though I REALLY mean to be starting a new novel). But I want to have a nice list of 30 ideas to work from along the way...

Ruth McNally Barshaw said...

I saw your name right above mine in the sign-up list, and smiled.