Today is the first day of what is called Picture Book Idea Month or PiBoIdMo by those who are familiar with the children’s book writing world. In a nutshell, it is the brain child of the brilliant Tara Lazar (author of Monstore, I Thought This Was a Bear Book, and others), and challenges picture book writers to write down at least one new idea, concept, character, title, anything that could be turned into a new manuscript. Each day, a new guest blogger posts inspiring words that help them awaken their inner muse in hopes that it will do the same for you.
Teachers: Wouldn’t it be great to take this concept and tweak (a teacher’s favorite word) it to fit your classrooms? How many times do students say, “I can’t think of anything to write about?” Obviously, the curriculum gods and massive amount of material that needs covering would never allow you the time to use an entire month’s worth of writing time to simply generate ideas, nor do I think it necessary. But what if you took one day a month, or maybe a few minutes one day a week, for students to learn a new way to generate writing ideas and then practice it? That blank page can be mighty intimidating without any ideas of how to fill it.
Parents: If your kids are like mine then they love to hear the same bedtime stories read over and over, night after night. Well, what if you mixed things up a little and told them a story instead? Don’t freak out – I know it can be intimidating. That blank page in your mind is mighty vast and mighty blank, isn’t it? Two suggestions: One- take part in PiBoIdMo. You don’t have to do it every day, just visit www.taralazar.com here and there during the month of November to get some inspiration. Let’s be honest, your kids are not going to critique your plot or the obstacles your protagonist will overcome to reach his/her goal. In fact, they will more than likely think your story is the best one they’ve ever heard and it will be the new one they want to hear again and again. Suggestion Two: Have your kids decide who the characters will be. Maybe they themselves will be in your story and their two best friends from school or favorite storybook/movie characters. Then have them decide where the story will take place and let that get you started. The possibilities are endless as will be the memories.