Am I overdoing it by joining PiBoIdMo 2012?

No writing is easy. Words don’t always come tumbling out, arrange themselves on paper. Characters are cantankerous at best and stories are flat until you pull, push, tug, pinch and cry at them. But as much as a writer won’t ever agree writing is easy – all of them would agree that it is fun and it is a kind of sweet torture that you have to go through.

Sometimes, I think about why I get up before 6 on most mornings and write before the world gets talking to me. I wonder why I labour over manuscripts all weekend and worry about word counts, page-turns and spreads. There is no gun to my head. It doesn’t put food on the table and most often what I write is not even for publication.

Most writers know it is an urge. Not just an itch. It starts off as an itch, maybe. But it is hunger, it is desire, passion and a physical urge to put words on paper. If I leave it for long, words overcrowd my brain, my characters start fights in my head and most often they disrupt my normal life.

But on a day like today, I wonder if I am overdoing it. Can I not just write an hour a day, stick with a project and see if I can get that published? No… I have to be working on two MG novels, a handful of Picture Book manuscripts, a writing course with Andy Stanton at Faber, who is absolutely fantastic, by the way and now, signing up to do PiBoIdMo 2012. 

I started doing it two years ago, writing an idea for a picture book every day. Some are well-developed, some are one-liners. But an idea every day. I have two file full of these from the last two years. One of the picture books I placed this year originated as an idea two years ago – but I couldn’t get the story to work until early this year.

I almost didn’t want to go through this again. Every day, I need to find 20-30 minutes to sit down and write up an idea. I usually end up doing research, going off in a tangent and perhaps getting more ideas.

But it is fun. I have a lot of balls up in the air, and surely some will fall down. I have coursework to do, I have to re-writing my MG manuscript and I am going to be part of PiBoIdMo2012.

November is for people who grow beards, novels and picture book ideas. Thanks to Tara Lazar for cooking this up each year. Find out more at

Interested? Visit Tara’s page, take the oath, follow the steps and have picture-licious fun.