Saturday, November 9, 2013

Roll With It

It is day ten of PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month)and we are swimming in ideas. A poll on Tara's FB site started by JackieWellington asked: "How many picture book ideas have you logged thus far?" The answers range from just a few to 30+. Impressive!
PiBoIdMo challenges us to come up with at least one picture book idea/day for the month of November. Some people lament the fact that they have great difficulty coming up with ideas. Others find them pouring in.  For me, this is not a difficult task, ideas seem to attack me from every angle; usually when I least expect it. I have pages and pages of ideas every month of the year. An idea might be as specific as a plot or problem. Others as obscure as a character name, but they are all ideas, just the same. The difficulty, for me, lies in the next steps. Now What?
Which story do I think about next? In what direction will this character take the story? Should I finish the oodles of stories I've already started or roll with one of my new ideas? I am fairly scattered when it comes to writing - I can be distracted sooo easily (look - squirrel!).
I have found that my best strategy is to let the ideas take me and not try to control them. One day, out of the blue an inspiration will hit me and I will go back to a story I started months ago. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but I do know that I can't force an idea that just isn't there. My best ideas/strategies seem to come when I'm not trying. I might be in the middle of a story and hit a wall. Instead of trying to plow my way through it I back off. In doing something else... something mindless... the wall sometimes crumbles. It isn't always that easy, but it is far less frustrating for me than chiseling away at the wall with a pick and hammer.
 So, whether you have one fantastic idea (that might turn in to a best-seller) or pages of cryptic words, roll with it and take it where it leads you. And most importantly - have fun!

1 comment:

  1. I'm looking at PiBoIdMo more as a numbers game in that I'm not weighing my ideas for their weight but simply capturing them as I would fireflies in a jar. Later I'll go back and see which have weight, which stick, which beg to be unrolled. PiBoIdMo is a great way to exercise that idea-catcher muscle but even if I only had one great idea out of the whole month it would be worth it.