I was very skeptical. First, to write 26 picture books in a YEAR is stretching it. Picture books take so much time to hone and make perfect. But I threw my hat in the ring, just for the challenge. I knew I needed to write everyday, and this was a great way to try it.
I created a journal just for the occasion (which I bought for a dollar at Michael's).
I created a calendar that fit on the inside cover for recording my progress.
And I made a long list of ideas that I had. I started the month with fourteen ideas and ended the month with 40 ideas. Needless to say, I didn't use them all. I have enough ideas to keep going.
My goal was just to simply get a draft down--not a manuscript fit to be sent off to a publisher, but a promising draft. And I did--26 of them. Now, I don't think I will ever even polish half of them, but there are a good 5-6 that I want to work on to see what happens.
I read picture books--loads and loads of them. It helps to have a five year old who devours books. I would read them to her before bed, then run off to my computer after both kids were asleep to start the new draft.
Lora and Jean did a great job of sending encourage blog posts to keep us motivated--like good coaches. Last weekend I got sick with a bad sinus issue, then two days later the stomach flu hit hard and bad--fever, vomiting and all. I got behind. I got discouraged. I wondered if I would finish.
But I did! I have a folder full of drafts, a journal full of ideas and lines jotted down. It was a very productive month. I wrote nearly everyday and it felt great!
What I didn't have time to do--write some nonfiction ideas. I have several great ideas for nonfiction picture books, but I didn't have time to research them and keep up the pace of writing a draft a day. So, those are on the horizon. With some more time to research, I hope to start writing some of those ideas down.
I'll be having my own version of March Madness--revise, revise, revise. I have a folder full of things to work on.