Sunday, July 1, 2012

I'm Crashing the 12 x 12 Party


My fellow members of the 12x12 in 2012 challenge (the goal is to write 12 picture books in 12 months in 2012) are checking in and joining the rollicking half-way point blog party. I'm crashing this party, because I haven't completed my six manuscripts. I'm over half way through the half way goal, so that counts for something, right?

Here are some excuses. The past six months, I've been busy:

  • Doing other creative work (illustrations for the picture book I've been working on for ages, monthly comics for AltDaily.com, and paintings for two art shows); 
  • Doing paid work (a commission or two, including an infographic on oil prices); 
  • Volunteering (organizing a used book sale and reading kids books at a homeless shelter each month)
  • Parenting (and housekeeping, yard work, etc.); 
  • Blogging; and 
  • OK, having fun (women's surf camp, some travel, catching up on Season 1 of Downton Abbey).
But ultimately, I don't have any excuses. Every day we make choices about what to do with our time. I can't honestly say that every hour of each day was filled with productive or necessary activities.* If something is a priority, people make the time to do it. For example, my law school roommate Christina Meldrum wrote an amazing YA novel, Madapple, while she was a full-time corporate attorney, by writing in the pre-dawn hours. She did well enough that she is now a full-time author with a second novel published, Amaryllis in Blueberry (also excellent).

So I'm using this post to remind myself that I can and will make the choice to spend just 10 or 20 minutes a day on a picture book manuscript. Though I like having long uninterrupted times to create, my life doesn't work that way. So I'll snatch a few minutes here and there and hopefully I can report back at the end of the year that I have completed all 12 manuscripts.

Cheers to all 12 x 12'ers, whether you are on track or not!

*(P.S. I'm not advocating that we should fill every minute of the day with productive or necessary activities. I'm a firm believer in the importance of idleness and downtime as a fount of creativity. The New York Times recently had a great article about how much of our "busyness" is self-imposed and counterproductive.)

34 comments:

  1. You are NOT crashing! Three manuscripts is three more than zero. I've only done four, but I'm still celebrating! But I do agree that snatching small periods of time is sometimes the key. I've gotten better at that myself. Here's to the next six months and more writing! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers, Julie, for creating such a great community.

      Delete
  2. I second Julie three is more than zero. Cheers! Keep up the hard work.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Sylvia!

    There may be some PB stories there created just for the say of saying SOMETHING was put on paper. It sounds like in your case you actively took the time to write three strong manuscripts which is better than six weak ones. Even when you aren't focussed on actually writing, I'm sure you are still involved in the writing community and THAT will help you to continue to grow as a writer! Here's to the next six months...

    Donna L Martin
    www.donasdays.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, everybody, and Donna, you give me too much credit. I hope they are strong manuscripts, but who knows?

      Delete
  4. I'm with the lovely ladies above! Three is more than zero, which is where I was this time last year! Plus, surf camp?! That sounds awesome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Surf camp is my favorite "me" thing I do each year. I love it, even when I'm not good at it at all.

      Delete
  5. What they all said! I think this half-way celebration is a chance to celebrate whatever stage we're in on the journey. And three manuscripts is definitely something to celebrate! (Not to mention all the other things you've done.)

    So YAY YOU! and YAY US! And here's to a great second half of the year, no matter what it yields!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Three is great! Celebrate! I love your thoughts on excuses/choices...really good words!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think it's great to be writing and doing all the other stuff you mention. Great reminder about Christina though. I began graphic design classes and along with some other issues have been all out of sorts this summer. Trying to right the ship. Early morning work is always part of my strategy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good luck, Stacy. I'm sure you'll do great.

      Delete
  8. I like your idea of tackling the dream pieces at a time. Even if only for 10 minutes a session. I need to follow this advice. Happy half-way point via 12x12in2012 Picture Book Challenge!!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Halfway to halfway! I feel ya, Sister!

    Love and licks,
    Cupcake

    PS. Mom says you'll be surprised what you can do in 10 minutes a day!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Crash away! Some parties call for it! And anything more than you had before is always an accomplishment!

    ReplyDelete
  11. You are not crashing at all. We welcome you! Excuse or no excuse, I know you can do it. Whether i's one story or twelve, it's still an accomplishment. Thanks for the article on busyness. I need it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Romelle. I loved that article.

      Delete
  12. Three is still more than you had before you started, so the challenge is working for you! :) Happy Halfway! :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Well, of course, Downton Abbey? Who wouldn't understand! But surf camp? Why weren't we invited! Ha ha! Wholehearted congrats at the halfway mark; regardless of how many you have written you are still with us and THAT is great, even if you were hanging loose without us! Shaka!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! And yes, where was I these past couple of years not watching Downton Abbey?

      Delete
  14. Downton Abbey sucked my entire family in for quite a few months. How could you not watch it? Three is better than none and congratulations on making the halfway mark with some stories in hand!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank goodness for Netflix, right?

      Delete
  15. We tend to be too hard on ourselves. You have done much, just keep writing.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Just about anything from Masterpiece Theater is well worth taking a break for. :)
    So nice to meet you, Sylvia...and congrats on all of your accomplishments...3 pb drafts are great...and you are so right, we do make choices with our time...but there are only 24 hours in a day...and some of those do need to be for sleep. :)
    Best of luck in the second half of 2012 with all of your projects...and happy writing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you and happy writing to you too!

      Delete
  17. I agree with everything you said and well done!

    ReplyDelete

Join the discussion...