I have long been a fan of picture books, and if possible, I would spend a significant amount of time reading them. Instead, I find myself grasping at those few minutes of the day where I can cuddle with my girls and giggle over a good story. (A time I cherish greatly.)
This summer, as I continue my journey toward writing, and of course re-writing, I find myself searching for the latest and greatest picture books available. I know that in reading them, I will, in turn, strengthen my craft. There are many books which I could speak to—we all know the talent out there is tremendous! However, there is one picture book I recently read, which has stuck with me.
Pigloo is a story about a pig named Pigloo, who is intent on traveling to the North Pole and back—before lunch. This delightful and engaging story represents the eagerness, patience, and determination that go along with setting a goal and going after it.
Much like in writing, I find myself shifting between the eagerness to write a great picture book, and the determination to make it happen. Pigloo, eager to visit the North Pole, lets nothing stand in his way—even if it means patiently waiting for it to snow first! Yet in carefully planning out his steps for the trip (i.e. gathering the appropriate attire and packing enough snacks—or “stores” in explorer lingo), Pigloo eventually finds that although the journey seems immense (or in his case, the Hill), his determination to succeed wins in the end.
So much of this story resonates with me as a writer, and really, with many aspects of my life. We all find ourselves at some point planning out the steps it will take for us to get from A to B—whatever A to B means to us. In the world of book making, it may mean going from writing a book, to publishing one, or perhaps even just from starting a book to completing that first draft. Whatever it is, we need to have a plan in place, which we can look to, and rely on, even if it changes occasionally. (Oh, and by the way, if it does change, that’s okay!) And no plan is the “right” one either; it’s just the plan that works for us at that time. You can hopefully find comfort in that.
Oh, and this whole thing about patience—yeah, well, we all know how difficult that can be. No one ever said the journey to writing or illustrating a great book was quick! So it’s fairly certain we will need to hold onto that virtue throughout our creative endeavors. But hey, what’s that old saying?—“Nothing worth having comes easy.” Keep that in mind while you’re working on your plan, and know that the steps to get there may seem massive, but the journey will be worth it in the end. (At least, this is what I tell myself.) 🙂
Laura Marinakos joined SCBWI in February of 2017, and finds being part of such an incredible community both motivating and inspiring. She is a lover of children’s literature, writing, and coffee. Laura studied children’s literature while going for her Master’s at Penn State, and recently took Susanna Leonard Hill’s course, “Making Picture Book Magic,” which she found wonderful! Writing is not new to Laura, as she has spent the last ten years working in Marketing related jobs, where a primary part of her roles have included writing, editing, and proofreading. Laura is enjoying her new journey toward hopefully one day publishing a great picture book. Right now, however, she is just having fun with the whole process! Laura lives in Eastern PA with her husband, two girls (ages 1 and 3), and stepson (age 16).