by Carolyn Fisher


As you can see from the above, making a book is simple. I NEVER get stuck, beat-up or depressed!

But if I DID happen to get off track, I would switch hats. Draw for a while instead of writing. Write for a while instead of drawing. Change locations from my studio to a coffeeshop.

Just in case you’re having an off day, I have 3.5 suggestions:

1. Keep a sketchbook or notebook stuffed with people, places, or things.
Just for fun, pick a page at random to use as a story starter. Or pick two pages.


2. Use thumbnail sketches
Draw quick, small sketches to generate ideas when you’re brainstorming. Test variations of your ideas. Ask: what if?


3.0 Throw away your eraser.
The eraser makes you uptight. You don’t need the negative energy emanating from its pink pearly heart.

3.5 Draw or write in drafts.
Often I will start a drawing with a light color for a first draft. For the second draft, I draw in a darker color right on top, fixing problems and testing variations along the way. I’ll repeat this with successively darker pencils or pens…and I won’t erase any of the mess. I like the story that my quavery searching lines tell about how my idea took shape.

My writing heroes are relentless revisers…they will rework their stories fifty seven times, just to try them out in different ways! No exaggeration. So don’t be afraid to draw or write something twice. Or more!


fisherselfportraitArtist-author Carolyn Fisher switches hats in Calgary, Canada, where she lives with her husband and son. She has illustrated six books, two of which she also wrote. Her most recent book, Weeds Find a Way, earned a Notable title from the American Library Association, as well as garnering notice from the Society of Illustrators LA, Bank Street College, the California Reading Association, the National Council of Teachers for English and more. In addition to teaching at the Alberta College of Art and Design for seven years, Carolyn has talked to thousands of kids in scores of libraries and schools about writing and art.

Visit Carolyn Fisher online:
Blog at or follow her on Twitter: @carolynnfisher.


PrizeDetails (2)

Carolyn is giving away a free 15-minute Skype session for a classroom or group. She is happy to talk to adults or kids. The prize can be regifted to your favorite school, library or class.

Leave a comment below to enter. One comment per person, please.

This prize will be given away at the conclusion of PiBoIdMo. You are eligible for this prize if:

  1. You have registered for PiBoIdMo.
  2. You have commented ONCE ONLY on today’s post.
  3. You have completed the PiBoIdMo challenge. (You will have to sign the PiBoIdMo Pledge at the end of the event.)

Good luck, everyone!