Cornering Your Passion to Boost Your Growth


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.

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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.

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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?

Read, read, read in your genre!

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.


  1. After investing 3 months in starting a new blog writing reviews on 5-star picture books, which meant I read 350 books (award-winning, classic and best sellers) and wrote 80+ reviews, I returned to writing and discovered I learned a tremendous amount during this intensive! I looked at manuscripts and immediately knew how to trim, focus and make them publishable. It was like I suddenly had these superpowers. Investing in yourself stretches and polishes the skills. Visit my website,, to see which books I selected!


    1. You are right, Susan. Mentor texts rock! ReFoReMo focuses on mentor texts for a picture book writing education. 🙂 It happens every March. Maybe next March you would enjoy participating, too. 🙂 I’ll take a peek at your selections.


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