How was your weekend? Over here, it was a good mix of tackling house projects and ignoring responsibilities like laundry and grocery shopping. Yesterday Jamie and I met up for coffee and chatted about our families, writing and Trivia Crack. I told Jamie that I was falling short on my most recent writing goal but, I want to keep writing. She nodded and for some reason, that gesture was enough motivation – and validation – to keep going. After all, the name of the game this year is determination.
Over the holidays, I stumbled upon a project that resonated with me and mimicked National Novel Writing Month – Picture Book Idea Month. Although I discovered the site a few months after the challenge, I decided to participate, or should I say “participate.” The challenge: to come up with 30 picture book ideas in 30 days. The website provides some writing prompts but its primary goal is to motivate writers.
I started 30 days ago and have 16 ideas.
If you just look at the calendar and the number of ideas, I’ve failed. Since I’m going at this solo instead of following along with a group of like-minded people, I’m proud of my progress. That’s not entirely true – I find my progress acceptable. My arbitrary date has come and gone but instead of giving up, per usual, I’m going to continue to write and generate ideas. If it takes 60 days, it takes 60 days.
I tend to get caught up in a negative feedback loop and ultimately stuck in my own head. Telling myself these ideas aren’t good. These books have all been done before. Why would anyone want to read a children’s book about that topic? Fear, what a powerful beast!
It took me a long time to get mentally tough as a runner. Mental toughness is proving to be a muscle that I need to continue to flex. I didn’t think brainstorming 30 book ideas would require the same level as mental toughness as running a half marathon. It does. It’s easier to check email or read blogs. It’s easier to stop running and walk. But, as any seasoned runner will tell you, it’s quicker and far more satisfying to run up that damn hill instead of walking up the long climb. You reach the top feeling satisfied and accomplished. It was hard and you did it. You can do hard things.
It took me a long time to believe that hills were worth running but over the course of training, I started to like hills. There is this gradual, never-ending hill about a half mile from my house. Each time I run up the incline, I repeat the mantra, “This hill is my bitch, this hill is my bitch. This. Hill. Is. My. Bitch.”
It’s time to embrace this mantra and repeat it over and over until I reach the top, and write 30 ideas, “This challenge is my bitch, this challenge is my bitch. This. Challenge. Is. My. Bitch.”