As all of you fellow PiBoIdMo'ers know, yesterday was the day to come up with your first picture book idea. (Don't know what PiBoIdMo is? Click here to learn about Tara Lazar's Picture Book Idea Month.) My entire day zipped by. It was a busy one (as I'm sure days are for most of us.) I got the kids ready for school, went to work, ran errands, did the laundry, cleaned up around the house, did some work on the new business I'm launching, made the bed, then finally--laid down! Phew. Still, I couldn't rest. I hadn't come up with a single picture book idea all day! Worse yet, I'd barely even had time to think about anything having to do with picture books or writing.
I told myself it was okay, a person can only do so much in a day. I gave up on the idea of having an idea and started reading a nonfiction book, which is what I tend to do when I'm not writing. But I couldn't concentrate. I'm a writer and I felt like I had to write! So I flipped through my notebook and read over a bunch of my old ideas and partially written stories. Man, there are SO MANY stories I need to finish! (These things take time!) I fooled around with a couple. Then I started composing this little blog post here in my head about how it's okay to not have an idea, when out of nowhere I came up with a new idea! I was definitely not even trying. And maybe that's where it's at. It's hard to pressure creativity.
All this is said because I want to send out a little support to those of you who see people posting that they are doing great or have 26 ideas or whatever fabulous picture book idea happening and perhaps feel a little bad. It's great, don't get me wrong. But it's also okay to not have had an idea yet. Sometimes we are just tired, or trying too hard, or just plain and simple haven't had an idea! Some days are like that. Some weeks are even like that.
Tara does have lots of great guest posts coming up to get our creative juices flowing which will definitely help! I really like Karma Wilson's reminder to ask the magic question, What if? It's the same I've heard from other writers including Gordon Korman when I saw him speak to a group of students recently. These are authors with many, many books to their credit. What if? does seem to be a magic question for writers. I'm certainly going to give it a try.
Hang in there my writing friends. The ideas will come, one way or another!