NaPiI am SO honored to be on Paula Yoo’s blog as a guest poster for the wrap-up of National Picture Book Writing Week (NaPiBoWriWee). Although I could not participate as a writer this year, NaPiBoWriWee was the first writing challenge I ever participated in, and that is one reason it holds a special place in my heart.

The second reason is thus. During that first challenge, it was day six and I was writing a story with the clever title of “Thomas’s Promises.” In it, a boy named Thomas keeps promising his mother he’ll clean his room, do his homework, feed the dog… just as soon as he’s finished playing. Of course he doesn’t keep those promises, so one day his mother decides to turn the tables on him and boy does he learn a lesson!

It was in the midst of boring the pants off myself writing this story that I decided I couldn’t stand to work on it for one more minute. I decided instead to start over on a brand new draft I’d been wanting to write for a while based on another catchy title. I had the basic premise, but I had no idea how I would execute on that premise.

What happened next was one of the most exhilarating experiences I’ve ever had as a writer. The story took over and brought me along on the adventure as it unfolded. When I reached the unexpected (to me) ending, I had tears in my eyes. Having one of my own stories make me cry had never happened before, nor has it happened since. But it was at that moment I knew my writing could trigger deep feelings in readers.

That story has gone through many revisions. It is as yet unpublished, but I know it will be someday. More importantly though, it stoked my confidence as a writer. For that, I am forever grateful to Paula and NaPiBoWriWee. I wanted to share the story with you to demonstrate the power of writing challenges and writing communities like the one Paula puts together every year.

Congratulations, Paula, on the 5th Anniversary of NaPiBoWriWee!!

P.S. Doesn’t this year’s logo match my website perfectly? 😉

Categories: Authors, Creativity, Friendship, Goals, Guest Blogging, NaPiBoWriWee, Picture Books, Works in Progress, Writing · Tags: , , , , , , , , ,



  1. How cool, Julie! And you’re right. That story will find a home, even if it’s already done its life work. ; )

  2. That’s a very inspiring story, Julie; thanks for sharing it with us.

  3. This is wonderful! Thank you for the kind blog and grateful you were able to participate as a guest blogger this year! xo P.

  4. If that’s the story I think it is, you’ve brought tears to my eyes, as well. 🙂

  5. Paula is fabulous, as are you, Julie! So glad that your participation in NaPiBoWriWee resulted in your writing what sounds like an incredibly touching story that I hope to read one day.

  6. It’s wonderful when stories just take over like that.

    I’ve never participated in NaPiBoWriWee. And I’ve never made myself cry with one of my manuscripts either! But there have been other times when I was writing that boosted my confidence as a writer.

  7. Kathleen Cornell Berman

    What a great story Julie. I can’t wait to read it. Many authors say that it takes years to get a story right. And they sometimes end up being the classics. This was my first time participating. It was fun, stressful, and productive.

  8. Your story resonated with me so much, since I was bored to tears trying to salvage a manuscript which I simply had trouble re-drafting! Then, like through Providence, I suddenly found inspiration this week and wrote a brand new manuscript two nights back which I’m pretty excited about and just posted to 12×12 🙂

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