Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Put One Foot in Front of the Other

"Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible."  ~ Anthony Robbins, American advisor to many leaders.

One of the reasons why I simply do not like New Years resolutions, is that I feel like you are setting yourself up for failure.  We can often visualize these grand gestures of good intentions, but few of us actually take that first step to "turning the invisible into the visible." 

Many of us are guilty of the "its in my head, I just haven't written it down yet" syndrome.  But the scary reality is that that's where many great stories begin and end.  Let's make sure we don't fall victim to that in 2012.

I struggled with this as I sat down yesterday to write my first picture book draft for 12x12 in '12.  I had an idea in my head...but I felt frozen when it came down to writing it. do you make the invisible into the visible?  I can answer that with a quote from another great leader, Kris Kringle.  "Put one foot in front of the other, and soon you'll be walking out the door!"

As a Picture Book writer what does that look like? 

1)  Get all of the ideas in your head down on paper...or screen, in many cases.  Take that idea that has been swimming around and get it out.  This doesn't have to be anymore than a brainstorm session or stream of consciousness.

2)  Fill in any other ideas through research or further investigation into your topic.  Do you have enough conflict?  Does your character have enough to do?  Do you have a story arch?  Take as long as you need.  Remember, you might not have a draft yet, but you are taking the steps necessary.

3)  Start putting those "bones" together to create a first draft.  Tbis may take awhile...but you will probably feel yourself build up momentum as you start this process.

Voila!  You are well on your way!  No one said it had to be done in one day.

Stop staring at that blank screen looking for your award-winning first line!  Just do it!  Write!  It will come!  And as for 12x12 in '12...its only January 4th! 


  1. Excellent post! Enough bones make a full skeleton, and then one can start fleshing it out -- eventually, there's a story!

  2. Just getting something down makes it so much easier when you go back to it.

    And yes, it IS only January 4th. Still a shiny new year!

  3. So true. I don't know why it's so hard to get started but once you do, it gets easier. And while there's an element of almost physical pain about getting those first few words and ideas out, it feels SO GREAT when you get to the end of that first draft and actually have something that it's worth it :)

  4. Great post :) One step, or one word, at a time is the way to go. And YES, it's still very early in the month!

  5. Love this! One step at a time. Thanks for the reminder!

  6. Thanks for posting this. This has been me with some of my ideas lately:

    "...staring at that blank screen looking for your award-winning first line!"