Hi PiBoIdMo’ers!

Get excited!

Picture Book Idea Month is a blast.

Never done it before? Don’t worry…

“You will get the hang of it, I know it.”

This line is much catchier in this super awesome video of a boy giving other children advice after he successfully rode his bike for the first time.


My favorite part?

When the boy says, “I feel happy of myself.”

Soon-to-be friends, I want you to be happy of yourself too.

In all aspects of life, of course, but I want you to be SUPER HAPPY of yourself during PiBoIdMo.

For that, you’ll need the Three Little P’s:

  • Process,
  • Prepare, and
  • Party.

(No, we CANNOT party first…I know…I want to, too!)


What is your process during PiBoIdMo going to be?

Everyone will have a different answer.

Let’s start with the basics.

The challenge is to come up with one idea each day for 30 days.

And each day there is an inspiring blogpost that can, (dare I say WILL?) generate said idea.

You can totally do that…but how do you want to approach it?

Do you want to set aside a certain part of your day for brainstorming ideas?

How will you record your ideas?

Want to read the blogpost at a certain time of day?

And what do you want to do with all the awesome information in the blogposts?

Not sure how to answer?

Figure out what works for you and do the best you can.

Here’s my pretty simple process:

A notebook is a necessity, and I want it with me at ALL times, because I know that my ideas come in weird places…(while driving, while waiting in line at the post office, while playing capoeira…)

I try to read the blog post everyday, but sometimes I can’t, so I set aside time on the weekend to catch up if needed.

Also, I know I’ll return to and use the spectacular advice in the blogposts on a regular basis IF I take quick colorful notes as I go.


These few minutes to set up your process will make things easier as you go.

Ok, now that you know your process, let’s PREPARE.

Schedule in some time to look at that blogpost everyday, and time to reflect on it if you so choose.

Get a notebook if that’s how you want to roll.

Not a notebook person? Use index cards, scraps of napkins, or voice record on your iphone.

I made a notebook last year, because I LOVE making stuff.

Turns out it’s big enough for this year too, so I’m all set.

If you don’t like making stuff, don’t fret.

There are many options for notebooks, including the awesome official journal of PiBoIdMo at the Cafepress shop!

How else can you prepare?

Well, a great way to get into PiBoIdMo (which is this case stands for Picture Book Idea Mode) is to spend some time in PiBoReMo (Picture Book Reading Mode).

Head to the library and grab some children’s books! Not sure what to read? Check out Tara’s list of guest bloggers and grab some of their books; or hop over to my blog where some friends and I have been reading picture books all October long.


You know your process.

You’re prepared.


We can officially PARTY!

PiBoIdMo is, above all, a fun time.

Look around.

You are SURROUNDED by a community of creative minds.

Like every party, you need to mingle!

Join the discussion by leaving comments on blogposts, hang out in the PiBoIdMo Facebook group and meet new friends, and don’t be afraid to ask questions!

And, be nice.

I know, that’s obvious; but also make sure you are nice to your ideas.

This means: NO JUDGING!

Have fun with them and don’t be afraid to get goofy.

Just record them and let them be.

You never know when a little idea will turn into a big story, or when two ideas will mingle and mashup into something truly amazing.


You’re officially ready for PiBoIdMo now!

To quote my favorite bike-riding, songify sensation again: “If you keep practicing, you will get better and better as you do it.”

Remember that we’re all here to gather ideas, share advice, grow as writers, and practice our craft.

Don’t be afraid to reach out and have fun!

I hope each and every one of you feels “Happy of Yourself” when the month’s over.

And thanks to Tara for the guest blogging honor! This has been really fun!

Enthusiastically yours,
Kathy Ellen

Kathy Ellen Davis doesn’t have a middle name, but her first name is two names, so she doesn’t mind. Her sock monkey also has two first names, Singe Singe, which is French for Monkey Monkey. Kathy Ellen spends her days teaching children, reading, writing, and making things. Singe Singe spends his days meeting authors and illustrators. Follow their adventures at kraftyellenwrites.com