I've spent many years now trying to figure out how to illustrate. How to create imagery that captures imaginations and emotions. But until recently, I'd never given much thought to writing. I'm an illustrator.
I always had the mindset that learning my one craft is hard enough. Attempting to try to learn a whole new craft? Nope. Don't have time for that--I'm trying to PAINT here, people!
But during the past year or so, my own stories began bubbling up, festering there in the back of my mind. But, as is typical of my personality, I thought of every reason why I couldn't do it: not enough time, don't know where to start, I'm still trying to figure out this whole "illustrating thing", I'll suck, etc., etc. I knew tackling writing was going to be a hard road. And I was never ready to take it on.
But, lately there have been a lot of signs from the universe that writing is something I should try. (People straight out TELLING you that you need to start writing is a "sign", right?)
So, I finally signed up for a two hour picture book writing workshop at the Huntington Beach Library with Laurie Knolwton. The utterly genuine, generous Laurie Knowlton. She literally handed us gems of invaluable information for the ENTIRE two hour workshop. Really. I've got pages and pages of notes to pore over. Laurie is amazing. And generous. Amazingly generous.
At the end of the class, Laurie had us write down a goal list. And so far, I'm halfway to meeting my "writing" goal for the week! The first order of business was to check out and read a bunch of books from the library. Done. Baby steps, people!
My next order of business is to type up AT LEAST twenty existing picture books that I like (I'm aiming for 50 though). I'd heard before from friends that doing this is a great exercise for the budding writer, but I wasn't ever ready to accept the challenge. Now, I'm ready. I need to learn how to write a story from the ground up and I can't write a proper story until I really get into the nuts and bolts of successful writers' stories. This will be a study with the masters of picture book writing, if you will.
How do I even begin to form a chain of unforgettable words, unforgettable ideas, unforgettable concepts and sounds? And how do I create characters who just might stay with the reader for-ev-er?
Uh, I need to learn a lot.
But I'm ready.
Some people make the mistake of thinking that writing a children's book is easy. I've been to enough SCBWI conferences to know it's not. The fact that picture books contain so little words doesn't make it easy--it makes it HARD. To to be able to tell an engaging, lasting story in a small space is an enormous challenge...an amazingly rewarding one!
So I've got my pile of books ready to be typed up and studied. Here we go!!!
I am an illustrator for the children's market as well as a mother of two little ones. Sleep is for suckers!
I'm Also Here: