That’s right!  I do solemnly swear that I have faithfully executed the PiBoIdMo 30-ideas-in-30-days challenge, and will, to the best of my ability, parlay my ideas into picture book manuscripts.

This was my second year as a PiBoIdMo participant, and it’s hard to believe, but the experience was even better than last year.  First, the amazing PiBo host, Tara Lazar, brought us an amazing array of picture book authors and experts on her blog.  They shared their wisdom, their methods for generating ideas, and their techniques for taking ideas to the next phase – a completed picture book.

Second, many participants gathered on Facebook where we were able to get to know each other better, support one another and share our experience.  So a huge THANK YOU to Tara for bringing us this hugely inspirational and FUN event!

Since one of my lessons learned from last year was to avoid censoring ideas as they came into my head, I wrote them down before I had too much time to overthink them.  This year, I also added a sentence or two, or even a few words about the idea under the title to trigger my memory later because last year, I only wrote titles or snippets.  In some cases, when I reviewed the list later, I couldn’t recall the crux of the idea.

Finally, as I said at the beginning of this year’s PiBoIdMo, my main challenge is taking the ideas and actually turning them into completed picture book drafts.  I find that once I have a draft, I can experiment with the story until I know whether or not it has potential and if it is worth doing the deep revisions and critique group rounds.  However, I have a poor track record of getting those first drafts down.

By now many of you know my solution to this problem: My new 12 x 12 in 2012 challenge.  If you haven’t heard of it yet, follow the link and check it out.  We already have 88 participants signed up, but there is still room for YOU!

Tara also deserves a huge share of thanks for the response to the 12 x 12 challenge.  If it weren’t for all the fantastic momentum we’ve built this past month, I don’t think there would be as much interest in continuing to work together as we draft those PBs!

Thanks again to Tara, and here’s to writing 12 picture book drafts in 2012!

Categories: 12 x 12 in 2012, Authors, Children's Books, PiBoIdMo, Picture Books, Works in Progress, Writing · Tags: , , , , , , , ,



  1. You are indeed a winner, as is everyone who participated in PiBoIdMo — what an incredible experience!

    You are doubly a winner, for having come up with the idea of 12 x 12 in 2012. Now I know that I will definitely be doing something with some of my ideas, and will have a supportive and encouraging community in which to do that, I can hardly wait to get going!

    I’m sifting through all the little seeds and pebbles of ideas that came my way during PiBoIdMo, day by day, and am sure I will have twelve that I’m prepared to work on come January.

    Thanks to Tara for starting PiBoIdMo, and thanks to you, Julie, for keeping the ball rolling!

    • Beth, I haven’t had time to go through my ideas yet to cull for the 12×12, but I’m looking forward to it. I’m glad you’ve already got that process going.

  2. Congrats Julie! Well done!!

  3. Great post, Julie! Here’s to 12 x 12 in 2012!

  4. Great post, Julie and your 12 x 12 is such a great idea. I think more and more we need structure to fulfill our multiple tasks and I can’t even manage to look at my ideas because my head is back in another ms. Sorting one out per month (though January will be a stretch with visitors and MoP) is going to be very productive and motivating. Thanks!

  5. I’ll be with you in spirit though not in reality as I begin to market my first picture book “Annie’s Special Day”. I failed PiboIdMo because I only came up with sixteen ideas. My husbands surgery and my own diagnostic proceedure took more out of me then I thought it would.

    I love the comment above that says everyone is a winner who came up with ideas. I will try and write a picture book from my ideas. Since I can’t join the 12X12 group ~, I’ll be watching. lol 🙂

    • Clar, you are a winner even if you didn’t get 30 ideas. Goodness, the fact that you got 16 given how much you had thrown at you is amazing! You are still welcome to join us for 12×12 even if you don’t think you’ll write 12 complete PBs!

  6. Congratulations, Julie! What a great way to end 2011 and start 2012. 🙂

  7. I’m so thankful that you are “taking the ball and running with it”, so we can all progress with our ideas. So looking forward to 12×12 in 2012!

  8. I’m enjoying reading how everyone developed and wrote down their ideas. I’m looking forward to your 12×12 challenge. Grateful you are doing it.

  9. After reading that post all I want to say is YEE-HAW!!!! And I’m not even from Texas.

  10. It has been fun learning how the PiBoIdMo month has impacted everyone in so many different and positive ways. Enjoyed your post a lot Julie. I haven’t sorted through mine yet.

    Tara, I think YEE-HAW is very appropriate!

  11. That’s awesome Julie! Congratulations!

  12. What a lovely warm post, and thankyou Julie for coming up with this great idea and inviting us along. I know that this is what I badly need to keep me motivated and make something of some of my ideas, otherwise they are liable to just gather dust. Looking forward to 12×12. Thanks Julie.

  13. Congratulations, Julie, for all your PiBoIdMo ideas uncensored AND for focusing us for the next phase. I am also eager to see what you have learnt during this week of the Artist’s Way!!

    I just started to sort through my ideas today, into three piles!

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