12 x 12 Challenge – Writing 12 PB drafts in 12 months

It’s been a while since I’ve last posted, but I did not vanish into thin air

I’ve been busy with writing and with editing as well as posting my illustration efforts on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Writing for children

Writing children’s picture books may sound easy. But don’t be fooled! I’ve worked many years as an editor for IT, finance and research content and can say this much: children’s books are just as complex if not more complex to bring to perfection!

Ready to submit? Not so fast!

I thought I was ready to submit my children’s picture book manuscript ‘Miah and the Moon’. Approximately last August I realised I really wasn’t!

Be prepared

This means, should I be in the lucky position that a literary agent or publisher expresses their interest in ‘Miah and the Moon’ I would need to have at least two additional polished manuscripts ready. Unfortunately, I don’t.

Decompress and get back in the game

After a moment of anxiety followed by long walks in nature, various yoga routines and silent meditations, I realised the moment to act is ‘now’. Now is the time to act on whatever I felt was missing for me to submit my work and fill the gaps. And so I did.

Go for it in whichever way suits you best. But go for it!

After searching for the right solution to my problem I nailed it down to two options: Either becoming an SCWBI member or a 12 x 12 member.

Becoming a 12 x 12 member

Because the main factor for my despair last August 2017 was that I needed more written material to show for, I went and subscribed to the 12 x 12 challenge membership. If you’re unfamiliar with 12 x 12, it’s a one year challenge with the goal to produce 12 picture book manuscript (drafts) in 12 months.

So far so good

January

I polished the ‘Miah and the Moon’ manuscript and got familiar with the 12 x 12 forum and how things work. It’s a lot of information to take in and takes time to learn it all. The community is supportive and kind. One of the many benefits of being a member: I did not miss out on the picture book pitch events over on Twitter this year!

February

I’ve written a second picture book draft called ‘Mikkie and Molly’. It’s still unpolished but has taken a satisfying shape already. I’m eager to sketch a few illustration and storyboard samples, already.

March

Last but not least, while illustrating a cow, I was kissed by a muse to write a picture book draft titled ‘Matilda flies with Birds’. In this example, a simple sketch led to a picture book story.

Epilogue

I love to draw and to tell stories. It gives me immense pleasure to combine illustrating and writing. Before joining 12 x 12, I thought I may have to give up one or the other. But now I’ve discovered it is more than okay to do both. I’m not alone.

12 x 12

The registration deadline for 12 x 12 is closed to new members. But if you follow the link: 12 x 12 Membership you can opt to be alerted when registration for 2019 opens. Please feel free to ask me any questions regarding the 12 x 12 challenge in the comments below. I’ll try my best to answer them.Until then, I’ll be posting my 12 x 12  journey on this blog. Maybe it’ll help you decide whether it’s as good fit for you as it is for me.

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