PiBoIdMo, Picture Book Idea Month!

By Kirsti Call

I’m a sucker for a good writing challenge.  Something about working with a bunch of other writers really gets me motivated.  This month I joined PiBoIdMo for the first time.  Every day this month, I’m supposed to come up with one picture book idea.

I started with some trepidation.  After all, it’s sometimes tough for me to come up with one good picture book idea a month, let alone one a day!  But Tara Lazar, the founder of PiBoIdMo, made it easy and fun.  Every day there’s a post about how to generate ideas, and sometimes prizes too!

The first couple of days this month,  I brainstormed with my creative children and came up with dozens of ideas.  Then I cataloged a respectable 3 or 4 ideas a day for the next week or so.  But the last couple of days I hit a mid-month slump.  Then my helpful writing partner mentioned a random word generator.  I came up with some great alliterative titles.  Who wouldn’t want to read about a vacuum vulture, or a meteor mouth?

Tuesday morning, as I watched the snow fall and tried to think of PB ideas, I wrote the first poem I’ve written in years:

First Snow

The snow enters our lives like a furtive stranger,

Seeking refuge at our house,

Hoping to find respite,

Tossing like so many ideas,

Easily swayed and shaped by the whims of the wind.

Even if none of my PiBoIdMo ideas become published picture books, the challenge is well worth it.  It’s made me think about writing picture books as less of a luxury and more of a way of life.

How do you come up with ideas?

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  1. I do love PiBoIdMo. It definitely motivates me to look more closely for those ideas that are around me. Some ideas still fly in on a dream, but I listen to conversations more and if I like the way something sounds, I write it down. The other day at a party, someone said something about their “big fat feet”. I wrote that one down as a possible titile!


  2. There is absolutely no better incentive that a deadline to motivate creative thoughts. It’s terrific .that you will end the month with a whole stack of ideas to choose from. I can’t wait to see the stories you come up with!


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