But its true. And here is my "story"...which I am sure you all have experienced, too.
My first published book came out in 2010 and was published by Greenwillow Books...which is crazy because I don't have an agent and never sent in a query. It was just published.
I came up with the idea while participating in PiBoIdMo 2011. Yes, my book that was published in 2010 was an idea that I didn't come up with til 2011. What's the confusion?
My 3rd idea for PiBoIdMo last year says, "A porcupine desperately wants a balloon. Everyone else at birthday parties gets a balloon...except porcupines...for obvious reasons. But Milford (the procupine) is determined to find a way!"
You guessed it! My book has the EXACT same premise at the uber-talented Deborah Underwood's A BALLOON FOR ISABEL. Wow, right? Guess I won't be spending any time on that idea.
As a participant in 12x12 this year, I came up with my August manuscript and was feeling quite pleased. In fact, its gone through a lot of revisions. And I'll admit that I am not incredibly happy with the climax and resolution....but I truly felt, up until last night, that I was getting closer.
Last night I had some time to kill and I decided to feed my writer's soul by browsing the shelves at Books of Wonder.
While browsing the Picture Book section I spotted a book on the bottom shelf that caught my eye. I had never seen it or heard of it before and just by the title I could tell that it was "similar" to my August 12x12 manuscript.
|Internal Spread from the Stan Wackarrino book in question.|
Now I don't want to give too much away, but it was published in 2001 by a highly-respected and often-published author/illustrator who's name rhymes with Stan Wackarrino.
I was crushed. This was not just an "idea" of mine that I found on the shelves. It was a MANUSCRIPT that I had poured myself...along with Stan Wackarrino apparently...into.
So what is the takeaway?
- I know firsthand that a truly original idea is hard to come by.
- There is at least a part of me that is proud to have the same ideas as some of the best in the biz. That must count for something.
- Its back to the drawing board. Time to take my "Stan Wackarrino-esque" story and turn it on its head. Find a new twist. Make it fresher.
- Being a writer is tough.
Weigh In and share. I bet we find out that even our frustrations are NOT original.