First, congratulations on completing PiBoIdMo, getting all 30 of your great ideas down on paper. Or, congratulations on attempting PiBoIdMo, but only finding the time to get about 20 picture book ideas down on paper. Or, good try, you only found the time to get 5 or so picture book ideas down on paper because you’re really busy this time of year (heck, don’t kid yourself, you’re busy all year-round) but you feel like you’ve got 2 or 3 really good ideas you want to pursue. I, as usual, fall into the last group. It’s not that I lack good ideas, I just can’t get organized to write them all down on a schedule. Plus I have the added excuse of spending this November finishing my next book.
So now it’s December 3rd, now it’s time to take those 2 or 3 good ideas and start turning them into books. So let’s sit down and start writing, as soon as you go pick out a tree and decorate the house for the holidays. OK, that’s out of the way, let’s start writing, as soon a you finish that job you started in mid-November and the deadline is fast approaching. OK, that’s done, now it’s getting close to Christmas and you’ve got so many functions and last minute shopping and then it’s New Year’s Eve and I promise I’ll get around to writing as soon as the new year starts. Well, right after I do my taxes, that is. What do you mean Happy Valentines Day?! Where is the time going!
So here’s the issue, I don’t know about you, but I’m really busy. I work for myself as a graphic designer and freelance illustrator. I have a number of clients who are very demanding (especially that one who always calls at 4:30 with some emergency that requires another 4 hours of work). Add to that family stuff and general household needs, who has time to write?
So here are some secrets to finding all the time you need to write:
- Inherit loads of money so you don’t have to have a job. This also works if you win the lottery.
- Marry someone who is really wealthy so that you can have servants to take care of all the small stuff like raising the kids. This frees up a lot time.
- Become really famous for something else, like acting in movies or singing great songs, then publishers will pay you lots of money to write a book. Even becoming infamous can get you a book deal.
Sorry, I didn’t mean to make it sound hopeless, it’s not. We write because we have to, because we are passionate about it. Don’t ask me how I found the time to get 5 picture books out in 6 years, 4 of which are with a publisher so small they don’t pay an advance*, and I’m the illustrator as well, so I really have to work some late nights. Basically I’ve found that you just have to make the time. Find an hour here and an hour there. Get up a few hours early on the weekends and leave the dishes in the sink until later. If you are sitting in the car on a long trip, write in your head or speak it into your iPhone.
You found the time to do PiBoIdMo, you’ll find the time to write your books. You will, because you want to, you need to…because you have to do it, for you.
*Don’t get me wrong, I love Schiffer Publishing, they’re an independent, family-run publisher that has been around since the early seventies, they pay good royalties and they do an excellent job producing my books and distributing them.
Timothy Young has had a lot of fun jobs; he’s been an animator, puppet maker, toy designer, sculptor, art director, illustrator and graphic designer. Tim has designed for Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, the Muppets, Disney, the Simpsons and Universal Studios. Now he is the author/illustrator of 5 published picture books including I Hate Picture Books! and his latest, The Angry Little Puffin. He lives with his family on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
Tim is giving away two books–a signed copy of THE ANGRY LITTLE PUFFIN and a signed copy of I HATE PICTURE BOOKS!
These prizes will be given away at the conclusion of PiBoIdMo. You are eligible for these prizes if:
- You have registered for PiBoIdMo.
- You have commented ONCE ONLY on today’s post.
- You have completed the PiBoIdMo challenge. (You will have to sign the PiBoIdMo Pledge at the end of the event.)
Good luck, everyone!