That’s right, I’m registered! This will be my fourth year participating in the online online writers’ event of the year, formerly known as PiBoIdMo. Originally invented as a way for picture book writers to participate in the November NaNoWriMo frenzy, the event was conceived in 2008 when successful children’s book author Tara Lazar challenged a group of her friends to come up with one new picture book idea a day for one month. Her blog supports participating writers with daily posts from professionals in the field, offering ideas about getting ideas, recording ideas, chasing ideas, developing ideas, taming ideas…By the end of the month, you’ll feel like the Newt Scamander of picture book ideas.
But the fun doesn’t stop there. Prizes are available on nearly a daily basis when people check in, and again at the end of the month for people who complete the challenge with 30 new ideas. Now, we’re in for even more fun. Tara has moved the event from November to January, which means we’ll end up with ONE EXTRA IDEA, and also means that novelists can also more easily participate. She’s also expanding the challenge to include ANY kind of writer, not just picture book writers and illustrators, although I see her calendar of guest bloggers is still packed with picture book luminaries. Best of all, this event is still completely FREE! Thank you, Tara, for giving so generously to our community. Especially for those of us still honing our craft, meeting our colleagues, and looking for that first contract, this means a LOT.
The Storystorm challenge is both social and personal. Participants do not share ideas, we just keep track of them ourselves, and at the end of the month report on the honor system whether or not we met our goal. Speaking personally, this practice of focusing on ideas for one month in the company of other writers with a sense of accountability drives my craft for the entire year. This is where I get my ideas, this is where I learn to get ideas, and these are the ideas that shape my next year of writing.
Registration is open now. Check out past PiBoIdMo posts to get an idea of the creative wealth you’ll be invited to savor (scroll down for a link to guest bloggers from past years). Ask to join the Facebook group to meet the wonderful writers and illustrators who will jumpstart your own practice with their momentum. Storystorm starts next week, and my umbrella is upside down, ready to catch all those ideas.