I managed to speak with two established UK publishers -and these were at the publisher/managing editor level. They told me they liked my writing but preferred stories with animals and people as their main characters - to fit their list. I was given the opportunity to submit directly to them on account of those meetings.
A golden opportunity isn’t it? Well guess what? I never followed up with a new manuscript!
I’ve wondered many times why not.
Writer’s block? Inertia? My wanting to send the perfect manuscript which stopped me in my tracks?
Meanwhile, in these past two years or so, I have just completed writing my 17th commissioned picture book manuscript for my 5th client. Half of my recent works are currently being used for social studies across all schools and most kindergartens in Singapore. The remaining 8 will be published in the next three months for educational use and community outreach purposes. It’s been a great way to hone my writing, earn some income (while taking care of Caleb full-time) and benefit from the marketing and publicity spin-offs from there.
But the elephant in the room which I’m finally facing is this: How is it that I can write for others so productively but not for myself?
I’ve sort of known the answer at the back of my mind:
* Clear goal
* Payment on completion!
This week, I’ve finally decided to take two toddler steps to overcome this:
- For 2013, I’m picturing myself as a client.That way, I will finally carve out writing time for Me.
- To give myself a headstart, I’m starting the process now – having a first deadline and goal to shoot for.
Thanks to blogger friend Vivian Kirkfield of Positive Parental Participation, I’ve just signed up for Pi Bo Id Mo. (No, it’s not a tongue twisting phrase that Julie Andrews had to master in the movie My Fair Lady.)
Pi Bo Id Mo or Picture Book Ideas Month is a challenge to generate one picture book idea a day for November. So, for the first time, I will actually have a handful of writing ideas to start 2013 with. And I am not alone. Apparently, 500+ writers around the world will be in the picture on this challenge.
The countdown to Pi Bo Id Mo is two days to go and 4th November is the last day to sign up. During this period, we get daily emails from published authors with tips and advice on honing the craft.
So, I’ve sharpened my pencil. I’ve taken out a new notebook. I am ready to take a picture book walk of ideas with the “write” frame of mind.
Who knows? I may finally get down to submitting something to the two UK publishers I met once upon a time in Bologna, not so so so long ago.