Thursday, November 08, 2012

PiBoIdMo Week 1: Rollercoaster

I signed up for Tara Lazar's Picture Book Idea Month with no reservation this year. Coming up with ideas is the most fun part of the process for me. It's low pressure, right? Nobody ever needs to see what you write or draw in your notebook. Here is the dinky, little notebook I've been toting around with me that I now love and treasure:

Days 1-5 were a blast...ideas were flowing to the point where I actually forgot a few fleeting ones (which lead to another potentially bad idea - an idea goblin who hoards good ideas and never uses them!Day 6 was alright, but I could feel my confidence slipping. Surely and shortly thereafter, Days 7-8 were a total bomb. 

My internal children's book red flag went up "BAD IDEA, BAD IDEA, STUPID! STUPID!" and as soon as it did, every single word I inked with my marker pen made absolutely no sense. Disjointed thoughts, going nowhere. (I.E. A flower with the name, Binky):

As soon as I started to think about sharing my ideas and turning them into dummies or full stories - I got nervous. I froze. "These ideas aren't good enough." "There are people out there making way more creative and meaningful stories than these...and THAT is what I want to write." 

Hate is a strong word, but I have a serious love/hate relationship with my inner voice. 

I imagine my inner voice as a wilting, grumpy old man with an underbite and thick glasses (for some reason). It would be better if he were an animal - a big, brown bear. He is the one who keeps me from excelling. He keeps me away from my flowing thoughts and makes me check Twitter for inspiration. He blocks whatever passage in my brain it is that lets the ideas flow through with his cynicism. However, he is also what made me stop and write this blog post. 

And he just gave me an idea for Day 9

Cheers and happy writing/drawing to all my PiBoIdMo friends!


  1. Renee-no judging ideas, missy! You write down every idea, good or bad, and let them incubate. Then after PiBo ends and you look them over, you find the gems. Stinky ideas are par for the course, but don't let them stop you! Keep up the good work. I know you will have some amazing ideas by month's end! ;)

  2. No fear, Renee! You've gotta take the good with the bad. Every day has a night. And you just never know when your bad idea, processed long enough, generate a different idea! Your "binky" flower made me recall my cousins who carried around a cloth diaper (instead of a blanky) when sucking their thumbs. These diaper-blanky-thumb-sucking-thingies were called "binkies"!!!! A-ha - and see there! You helped me with my Day 8 story idea. I love how you expand and doodle in your notebook, with marker no less. That screams confidence to me. :) Thanks so much for sharing this post.

  3. Thanks ladies :)

    Diandra, I knowwww, I knowwww haha. It's just so discouraging sometimes...but without the bad days and bad ideas the good ones would be really boring!!! <3

    Jennifer, I'm sooo happy to have helped with an idea for your Day 8! If anything came out of it, at least that happened. Here's to lots more ideas where that came from! You should try writing with marker, it's liberating. <3

  4. Yes, I have trouble with my inner editor too...glad he/she gave you an idea, though!

  5. Anonymous9:54 PM

    Yes, the battle with the internal editor really is something else. Sometimes quite draining-especially when you can hear it howling in the background as you write. Glad you are pushing on through....and wow-thanks for sharing your notes and drawings! Happy writing and drawing to you too!

  6. Oh, my, I so totally have to redo my notebook - yours is so awesome! Okay - here's what you do...your illustrations are dynamite draw your 'good' inner voice--give it a face...a character...a name (i.e., Sugar Sweet)and when the grumpy old inner voice starts acting up...bring out Sugar Sweet to overpower him.. She could have a cape and a wand and a...I have to go I just got a story idea.

  7. Lovely post, Renee! I can identify with the highs and lows and that big bad grumpy old guy! Good to see he finally made himself useful:)

  8. I love sneaking peeks into your notebook. So much fun. My six-yr-old is sitting here with me and saying " does somebody draw that?" So it looks like you're on the right track to us!

  9. You're a visual thinker! Go wild with all those doodles and sketches. Build your stories around them. They will be the bridge to get you to the stories you want.

  10. Renee, I've had the exact same experience so far. I've been plagued by self-doubt, but I just keep plugging along hoping the practice of writing down the ideas will help me get over it. I remind myself that 30 sucky ideas is still better than none. :-)

    Thanks for your honest assessment of your first week!