I'm working on my next story. I am still working with Rosie. She really has her ways to encourage me write. I get stuck though. I get really stuck on developing a concept or I totally overthink and overcomplicate the storyline. I have to let the ideas rest and simmer for a while, but working on these tight deadlines, I struggle by getting in my own head wondering, how can I come up with another something great in such a short time? At some point I feel like I have completely drained my creativity reservoir and just want to cry! So, what do I do? I go to Barnes and Noble or the library as much as I can and I read as many children's books as possible. Some books have something to do with the subject of my next book, some books have absolutely nothing at all to do with the story I am writing. It is very helpful for me to give my own brain a rest and enjoy beautifully illustrated stories on the shelves. While reading, more often than not, an idea will pop into my head, completely out of the blue, that will inspire an idea or concept in my own book.
This week I had a big deadline where a draft was due today. I felt very crunched for time and I was totally stressing about it. There was so much pressure, especially because I let my husband and my kids read a draft last night that I had worked on for hours and hours and hours and they didn't get it. They didn't get it at all. I had totally overcomplicated it and they didn't like it. I was mad, sad, didn't know what to do, so I asked my husband to wake me up at 4:45 am when he went to the gym.
Maybe not the best idea, but it turned out great, this time. After a good night’s sleep, and time away from the story, I woke up at 4:45 am feeling nervous but ready to rock a completely new concept on the same subject. I had done the research, knew generally what message I wanted. I'd developed my characters but just needed to write it. And, success! Before I took my kids to school this morning, I was able to read the completed new draft to the girls and my husband. They LOVED it. All three of them.
I don't know if there is a moral to this blog story or not. Maybe when there's a will, there's a way. There's really something to walking away from a concept, letting your brain rest, and then coming back with a fresh perspective. Determination, hard work, positivity, and a lot of creativity will get you there.
And of course, feedback can be brutal. So brutal! But it's so important to listen and take it as constructive criticism. I'm always finding ways to make myself better, although sometimes it’s very difficult to hear honest criticism, it is invaluable to your personal growth. You don't have to agree with what they say all the time, but it's important for you to listen with an open mind.
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Blair has travelled extensively all over the world. She and her husband enjoy taking their kids on big adventures together. Blair writes children's picture books for all ages! Most of her stories are inspired by life events. They feature kid’s curiosity, love of the environment, laughter, and fantasy.