Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Pressure of the Idea

In the past few weeks I have done a lot of things. I've weeded acres of garlic. I've thinned apple trees. Planted a garden. Run in a race and took first place. (It was a small race... very small. Don't be too impressed.) I've gone on long, lingering bike rides, been to the lake and had a run in with some leeches, read books in the sun. I've filled out a long, confusing application to get our farms certified organic. I've agreed to buy a rundown cabin. I've helped an art client get her social media up and running. I even dug out an old young adult novel I wrote a couple of years ago and started revisions.

One thing I haven't done? Come up with a new picture book idea. Why? Well, I like to think that my brain has been to busy doing all of these other things. On the one hand it bugs me. Why haven't I had an idea? I'm always full of ideas. On the other hand I wonder why I think I need a new idea. I have a bajillion in the filing cabinet, and many more lying around here and there. Really, I need more? Well, yeah. Of course I do! You never know when one will be great.

I do think that sometimes we picture book writers can put a lot of pressure on the idea and forget that the follow through is just as important. And honestly, for me, sometimes my ideas just need to sit a while until I figure them out. I recently finally finished a book whose concept I came up with at least a couple of years ago. I adored the concept but couldn't make it work. When I pulled the manuscript out a couple of months ago I finally figured out how the story needed to play out. It's nothing like what I had come up with at first save one major (and crazy!) plot detail. It's such a better story now and I believe it's ready to face the world.

So, I need to not worry. I know more picture book ideas will come eventually. They always do. I have plenty of other things to work on. And maybe with some focus I could even finish that YA. Now wouldn't that be something.

4 comments:

  1. It seems that this summer, many others are in the same place. The waiting place. It sounds like your interest in the YA. Awesome! I am finding that my interest is shifting right now as I work on a MG ms, those ideas for PBs aren't as frequent.

    I love that a concept you've been hanging onto finally is coming together. I have one idea that I am crossing my fingers will do the same in the years to come. The timing just has to be right!

    Great post!

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  2. Hey, Heather! I've been gone most of the summer here and there . . . around the Midwest. So . . . a farm organic? Are you still on the top of your mountain, or have you moved to the lowlands?

    That's cool about a possible YA book in your head and heart. What's the premise?

    Did you know I'm teaching a writing workshop for the library (Tonasket) on July 12. You should come on down and say howdy! I hardly ever get off our mountain.

    I have a contract for FOUR books for a new series for boys. I must be crazy. The pressure is on. Wish I could find a moment to get together . . . you still doing the coffee house thing in Molson?

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  3. Enjoy your summer, Heather. I bet new ideas will sprout up, sort of organically, with all the nourishment you're giving your brain. (Check out my clin d'oeil! ;) ) Seriously though, I think what you're doing sounds great!!

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  4. How fun to dive back into that YA project. It's good to shift gears every once in a while.

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