It's mid-January and not too late to start out the 'still' new year with some writing motivation!
One thing that I am doing is to find 'one new idea every day' with Storystorm 2024. It doesn't matter if I fall short of my goal. It's getting started that counts. Throughout January on Tara Lazar's blog you'll find daily posts by published authors on finding ideas, trying new directions in writing, research tools, the power of small steps and much more. Although registration is now closed, you can still read the blog posts by a different published author each day for inspiration and motivation.
I also attended an online class this month on Writing Poetry for Children with April Halprin Wayland and found a new poetry form that I had never tried before, an 'envelope poem.'. Words are still swirling in my mind, but I do know that it will begin and end with the word "Wheeee!" Click here to find upcoming classes by April.
Then there's the new podcast, Way-Word Writers! Headed up by Literary Agent Heather Cashman and children's authors Nicki Jacobsmeyer and Stephanie Bearce, Way-Word Writers hosts a weekly writers' podcast, classes and workshops and in-person retreats. While there, sign up for their newsletter!
If you are an un-agented picture book author with a finished and polished picture book manuscript, be sure to check out the 2024 PBParty contest hosted by Mindy Alyse Weiss here! I was glad I entered last year!
Finding time is not always easy, and as a mother of six (now grown) children I know how that goes! It can be tricky trying to fit in time to write and learn but putting it on your calendar helps. Setting a goal to write even once or twice a week helps. You may have weeks that are just too crazy to write, but more often than not you'll find yourself exceeding your goal! I will never forget the advice that I once read to compare your writing to something else that you love doing. Then spend as much time as you do on that other thing on your writing.
Last year my husband and I were watching our two-year old granddaughter full time. It did help to have two of us. I managed to attend my zoom critique group meetings, which is great motivation in itself! And somehow I also found time to write. Here's how that went…
I started out with Storystorm—it didn't matter if I reached my goal, but it helped get my creative juices flowing. Writing down my ideas was 'writing' to me.
Then I heard about the 2023 PBParty contest. I pulled out a very old manuscript and told myself, "Ok! You can do this!" I focused on the rules, and with help from my critique partners, learned how to write a query letter and find comps for my story. I revised my story, focusing on the first 60-70 words, since that was what would be submitted. My goal was to complete my submission and learn from the process, as well as having a polished manuscript ready to send out. When I found that my story was in the top 50 and would be one of those 50 featured on the PBParty list of finalists I was over the moon! I had invitations to submit the complete manuscript from four agents and one editor. Here's the chain reaction:
entering the PBParty contest, to
signing with an amazing agent, to
signing a contract for my book with a wonderful publishing company! (more to come on that!)
I'm so happy to be on board with Kristina Sutton Lennon of Focused Artists! And look forward to what comes next!
I don't know what 2024 will bring, but I plan to keep writing and learning. Meeting with other children's authors / friends in my critique groups helps keep me motivated. My list of podcasts to listen to and websites to visit is endless. But I'll just take it one step at a time.
I hope this blog post helps keep you motivated and writing in 2024!