As soon as you walk into my house, you get a glimpse of my office. It is not neat. It is not tidy. The floor is covered with picture books. They’ve replaced the carpeting, with the exception of a small path to my chair. If you venture to the living room, you’ll find library bags full of picture books lining the hall. More stack the coffee table and beneath it on the floor. What’s for breakfast? Picture books. Lunch? Picture books. Dinner? Well, you know.
The chapter books and middle grade novels are gaining dust on the shelf. It’s been a long time since I cracked one open. Of the four novels I bought for vacation last year, only one was read. Why?
My heart and passion for fiction picture books has taken over. I’m in love, and I have been for a very long time. But, it wasn’t until 2 years ago that I decided to put the picture book blinders on. The classes, challenges, resources, and conference workshops that I choose all revolve around picture books.
Most of us are not independently wealthy, and therefore, we need to choose our educational writing experiences with care and intent to stay on budget.
Do you know where your heart is? We often hear, “Write what you love.” So, what do you love writing? Are you reading that same thing? Surround yourself with mentor texts from that form and genre. Then, ask yourself: Where do I need most growth? How do my favorite authors handle this in their writing?
Reading should be your go-to resource, and thanks to libraries, you can do your research for free. I challenge you to focus all of your efforts on one area, if only for a little while, and see where your heart leads you. You might be surprised when you grow in ways you never thought possible. Choose your classes and workshops with intent. See if that makes a difference for you and let me know how it goes.