National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) bridged my dream with an actual, attainable goal. Writing a complete manuscript gave me the courage and confidence to believe that I was a writer and that I could become an author if I learned the business and trained hard enough.
While working as a librarian, I discovered the fantastic world of modern picture books and became enamored with the complexity of seemingly simple language and art. Mo Willems especially impressed me. I read his books out loud on a regular basis. If there happens to be a kid present, all the better.
Other picture books had a similar effect on me:
I found myself wishing I had the talent to write and illustrate funny, expressive books like the ones I loved. Eventually it occurred to me that the talent these authors had was the same kind of magic I admired in my favorite novelists, and I’d been working on developing that talent for years. I could learn to write picture books, too.
So, I started my research into how to write picture books and soon came across Tara Lazar’s Storystorm. I registered last year and soon had over thirty ideas to play with over the year. Of those ideas, I wrote three picture books. They weren’t anywhere close to the quality I was aiming for, but they were fun, and each one was better than the last.
Last month, I had two new ideas that hit me in the way my novels have, and I know that I will see them through to the end. I’m excited for Storystorm 2019 and the fresh ideas it will bring.