Can't wait for PiBoIdMo

The last few Novembers I've participated in Tara Lazar's fantastic picture book writers' event: PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month). And Yep, I signed up again.

What is it? It's the picture book writers' answer to National Novel Writing Month: Write a picture book idea every day for the month of November. That's it! Oh, and also Tara keeps a fantastic blog full of encouragement and success stories and whatnot that adds a sort of group support aspect to the individual challenge.

I can't tell you how much I've gained each of the last few Novembers from stretching my brainstorming muscle enough to come up with 30 ideas, day after day after day, all in a row.

For one, I've gotten a fair amount of picture books written that otherwise wouldn't have come to light. Last year I even wrote an entire novel (still revising) that spawned from one of the "picture book" ideas. Also, and not to be underestimated, I've realized how brainstorming does really bring out the best in my ideas. Sometimes my first idea is so exciting that I just want to run with it. But when I push myself to think more — to go for a 2nd, then third, and even maybe a 30th idea — I'm forced to think in fresh ways that lend excitement to my work.

This year PiBoIdMo comes at the perfect time for me. I'm just (finally) really getting back into my groove. I can't wait to fill up that idea journal.

If you are interested in participating too, register here.