Wednesday, November 2, 2011

picture book ideas

PiBoIdMo has begun, and I am spending a short time each day sitting with my paper and pen and just jotting down thoughts and ideas until I come across one that might actually work.  It is relatively easy for me to come up with ideas.  In my mind picture books are the most colorful and creative type of books out there.  And the fact that they are completely pared down to one basic idea, one tiny little truth, makes it all the more easy to come up with ideas.  For some reason I think it is a more fun type of writing. I love the challenge to write at the very basic core of words themselves.  To take one idea and develop it into something that makes sense as a story.

One could write a picture book about anything. But in that sentence lies the struggle for me.  I have many great ideas, but my execution is rather poor.  I struggle with taking the great idea, and giving in life in bright shiny words that will light up a small child.
I have questioned whether I am a picture book writer at all, in fact.  Truthfully I feel drawn to writing essays, experiences, nonfiction, and memoir, much more so. Each day when I take my allotted writing time, I see myself turning to the notes on the one most recent creative nonfiction piece I am working on, rather than any of the myriad of picture books or ideas I have begun to put onto paper.
I think what it comes down to is creativity.  You have to be gushing with creative spirit to write a book that will inspire the most creative beings on the planet, our children. These people spend their days imagining far off worlds, creating invisible friends, and playing endlessly. They are stamped into a reality that is more wild and free than most of us adults can even remember.
I see this every day in my son Cedar.  He is brimming over with life, exuberance, enthusiasm, and hope.  His growing brain is full up with grand ideas of how to pass his time.  He does not know rejection, he does not live with fear, he does not understand the concept of reining it in.  The creativity is pouring out of him and he fills his days with the most of everything he can get.
To keep up with him is exhausting.  Somehow I have to tap back into that youthful spirit and let the joy flow forth to create something a child might enjoy.  At least for now, I am letting the ideas flow, and maybe in time, with a little help from my inspiring kid, I can develop one of them into a bit of something creative worth reading.

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