Writing a picture book in 3 days

Person writing

Something unexpected has just happened.

Since 2012 I have written and submitted 5 picture books to a few carefully selected literary agents. All my submissions have been rejected, though one was a “near miss” according to the agent who represents Julia Donaldson (guess how much I treasured those two words!).

Rejections don’t faze me; they’re par for the course. And I’m sure some of my stories have potential. So, a few weeks ago, I picked the most promising candidate (the story that ‘called’ to me the most) and started to rewrite it.

Right from the start, things felt different:

  1. I worked on my story almost every day (I think my subconscious got the message that this time I meant business!).
  2. I approached my writing in a much more playful way; writing for the joy of creating rather than striving for an end result (namely, the perfect picture book, which gets snapped up by a publisher).
  3. I simplified my life and ambitions – so I had less ‘mental clutter’ and more space for my intuition/wisdom to come through (I wrote about this in my last post)
  4. I was no longer resisting being a writer. Yup, I used to be seriously conflicted about this (“It’s not enough…  I need to be more… How do I earn MON-EY!!”). However, a HUGE shift has occurred recently. It’s such a biggie it deserves a post of its own but for now, let me say, honouring who I am has been a revelation.

So… things felt different and I was making steady progress. Then, two days ago, something unexpected happened.

I was sitting in bed with a mug of tea, pondering my story. My mind drifted to my 20+ other picture books texts that are in various stages of completion.

I found myself thinking about one title in particular, which I have always loved but never had a story for. And then it happened: the story downloaded itself into my brain! I scribbled it all down in the journal I keep by my bed precisely for such occasions.

Yesterday morning the same thing happened: as I sipped my tea, more text arrived to fill in the gaps in the previous day’s download. Again, I scribbled it all down, thinking, What the heck? Is there some mystical ingredient in my new organic tea bags?!

This morning there were no downloads. There didn’t need to be. The story was complete. Not finished. Not ready to submit. More tweakage is required before that happens. But I now have a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end. And I have spent the day happily playing with words; nudging the book towards completion.

Whether it ever gets published is irrelevant. Amazingly, I really mean this! I’m pinching myself right now. I have just written a picture book in 3 days. And I wrote it with an ease I’ve never experienced before.

This is my Valentine’s Day gift to myself this year.

[Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay]

8 thoughts on “Writing a picture book in 3 days”

  1. That’s brilliant and I’m sure the picture book will be too on completion. You couldn’t tell me what tea you were drinking could you? I need similar inspiration 😊.
    Thank you for another good and interesting post.


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