I hope you enjoyed this kick-off to the Creative Spaces series! A huge thank you once again to Julie Anne Peters, Danlyn Iantorno, Amy Kathleen Ryan, and Roberta Collier-Morales for participating and sharing their workspaces with us. There’s still time to enter the raffle to win a signed copy of By the Time You Read This I’ll Be Dead by Julie Anne Peters. Comment on any post from this week up until noon Sunday (mountain standard time) and your name will be entered in the drawing.
I have to tell you guys, I am so excited about the line-up of authors and illustrators for future Mondays. You can look forward to a lot more wonderful and talented people who will be letting us into their workspaces in these upcoming months. When I originally concocted this idea, I was hoping to find a wide range of children’s literature artists with a variety of working styles and it looks like that very well may be what we see. Here’s a teaser of what’s in store: Treehouses, ironing boards, and taxidermy. Trust me, you’ll want to stay tuned.
Rachel’s comment on Thursday gets at the heart of why the idea for this interview series appealed to me. She said: “Makes me feel part of a community, like I get a peak at the cubicles of those around me in this virtual kid lit office building!” That sentiment is part of why I appreciate the kidlitosphere community as much as I do. Writing and illustrating can be lonely, solitary work but it’s also quite fun and rewarding too. (Why else would we be putting in the time and sacrifices that we do if it wasn’t?) When I sit down to work, if I imagine Amy Kathleen Ryan pacing around her office between writing spurts or Julie Anne Peters scooping a cat off the manuscript she’s trying to read, it just makes me smile and feel like I’m in good company.
And speaking of the kidlitosphere community, feeling connected to others, and how it can help you stay motivated and focused. . . If this is a month you are wanting to make a lot of headway on your writing goals and would like the encouragement of others in the same boat, I’ve found two groups of writers who have declared March the month of meeting writing goals and have gathered other like-minded folk to support one another.
The first is with Laini Taylor who is hosting a March Mini-NaNo Club. (NaNoWriMo, if you don’t already know, stands for National Novel Writing Month which happens annually in November.) Laini is pushing herself to finish a draft of her work-in-progress by the end of the month and has invited others to join her. She’s one of my most favorite writers and bloggers, so even if I wasn’t already trying to power through my own revisions this month I think I would have created a writing goal for myself in order to join in and feel like I’m a writing partner of sorts with her. It’s not too late to join if you like, just head on over to her blog to sign up.
The second is the March Madness Writing Challenge which I found out about through Tess Hilmo’s blog. For the March Madness Challenge, four writers have organized a daily check-in system (with prizes!) for writers to share what they’ve done that day and how they’re progressing on their goals. Even with the temptation of prizes I don’t think I’ll be checking in daily because that can too easily lead me down the path of distraction and procrastination. But I will be checking in from time to time–whenever I reach those walls where I need a little motivation or connection with others who are struggling along with their writing goals, or if I just want to celebrate a good writing day with others who I know will “get” it.
Check back on Monday for the next Creative Spaces interview, this time with Rachel Rodriguez the author of Through Georgia’s Eyes and Building on Nature: The Life of Antoni Gaudi. (And there maybe, might be, possibly another giveaway. . .)