Win a prize from Renee Krulla! Details are at the bottom of this post
I thought a long time on what to write for the picture dummy challenge. Since you will have a ton of excellent “how-to-do’s” and “step-by-step” tutorials, many of which are so good, why reinvent the pencil. Oh wait, they did. It is called a computer. Well, you know what I meant. For my article, I figured I would play the role of cheerleader.
Let your voice find its way to the surface. Be natural with your story. Do not get caught up in what has been done, appease this group or that group, or copy another style that is not you. Stay true to who you are. Giving in to those temptations will only lead you astray, off course, and in the end, it is no longer your story that you wanted to tell. Yes, it good to get feedback from others, but do not over do it. Find a few trusted individuals whose opinions you value. Writing and illustrating by committee is not the way to keep your voice. In the end, you are just one small voice in choir of opinions and will no longer see yourself in the book.
There are going to hiccups through this journey. I still have them with every book. Lots of self doubt creeps in. Nothing is good enough. “This is it! The end of my career because I don’t have any new ideas.” “Ugh, my work just stinks. Why would anyone buy this book?” Yes, every one of us has these thoughts too, including well known published authors and illustrators. Again, it those nasty little gremlins that keep whispering, sometimes shouting, into our ears and bouncing around brains. But you know, it never reaches our hearts. Because in our hearts, and deep into our souls, the love for creating a children’s book outshines those aggravating little gremlins. When a child picks up your book, opens it, and begins to read, the long, sometimes painful, journey is the true reward.
So I urge, beg, plead each of you, when you are stuck, do not stop. Do not give up. Break on through to the other side (thanks Jim).
Books (Here are just a few):
Freddy the Frogcaster
Mikey the Manufacturer
Renee Krulla has donated many books for this competition. Today I'm going to announce 2 copies of Zebrafish! The hard cover version is going to someone who completes the challenge and the other copy is going to go to a hard working entrant. Please comment below if you'd like a copy of this book please comment below!*
*Since Rene is donating so many prize packs she is only able to deliver to the US.