One of my perennial challenges as a writer is how much writing-related "stuff" I should take part in. There are blogs to follow, contests to participate in, forums to comment on, webinars to attend and a tremendous variety of online communities and activities to choose from. On one hand, I'd like to do it all. But if I did, I'd never do any of my own writing!
Perhaps this dilemma is why I'd never participated before this January in Tara Lazar's Storystorm - a brilliantly simply concept. Participants vow to generate at least 30 picture book ideas during the month of January. Each day, participants are asked to comment on the blog post by a a published author or other expert who shares tips on generating ideas.
I didn't quite know what to expect. I certainly didn't realize I'd learn so much about different ways to generate ideas for picture books. In the past, I'd honestly never given much thought on HOW to come up with ideas...which likely explains why I sometimes struggled to come up with them. With Storystorm, I can't believe how many tips I got on how to generate ideas! Most importantly, participating in this month-long activity got me much more in the habit of always being on the look-out for something that might spark a story.
I came up with at least 30 ideas, one of which I've already developed into a first draft. Some of the others have potential; some are simply silly.
Nonetheless, Storystorm helped make January a super productive month. I plan to stay in the habit of ongoing idea-generation with one small change: the process confirmed that my handwriting is illegible (even to me!) so I plan to record future ideas electronically.