PiBoIdMo & My Lightening-Fast Reactions

It’s November 10th. Ten days into the month that is PiBoIdMo.  It’s been an interesting week and a half. The guest posts at Tara Lazar’s Writing for Kids (While Raising Them) blog have been great! And it’s as much fun as I thought it would be to just open up my senses and imagination for picture-book ideas.

So far, in terms of numbers, I’m being successful. I’m pretty sure I’ve had more than one idea on every day, and many days in my notebook have three or four ideas jotted down. Are they any good?


What I’ve found is that, apparently, PiBoIdMo turns me into something an awful lot like this:

No, it doesn’t make me eat spiders. Ew.

It does make me quick. Quick to snatch up any idea that comes into my brain–be that an image, a question, a phrase, a character. I don’t know if it’s the anxiety that I won’t get any ideas that day, or the determination NOT to get anxious about that possibility. But I am not spending a lot of time filtering the possibilities through any questions about whether I can actually develop this idea into a story, or whether this idea has already been done.

I think this is okay. I think it’s probably the right way to go. It’s not that different from the idea behind NaNoWriMo–you’re shooting for quality, not necessarily quantity.

With the assumption, the commitment to yourself, that you will take some of that quantity and actually turn it into quality. No matter how hard that transformation is.

Do I have any ideas that actually feel like winners? Winners to me, yes. I do. There are a few that come with a spark, a smile, a thought that this one is going on the post-PiBoIdMo list of things I want to spend time with. That makes me feel a lot better about all the others that don’t—yet—have that pop. Plus, I have a sense of even more as starting points–ideas that need a twist, or a reversal, or a quirky angle that will turn them from unlikely to likely.

If you’re participating in PiBoIdMo, what have the first ten days been like for you? What have you discovered about yourself, about the way you search for ideas and how they feel when they do come into your brain?


  1. Becky, just like your frog, for me too! I am just jumping on those random thoughts and jotting them in the notebook. I really don’t have time to develop much this month. I will be happy if two or three become solid manuscripts, and maybe some thoughts I will be able to combine, who knows. I have to go to Lisbon for a conference next week, so hoping a complete change of scenery will be idea-provoking for me.


    • beckylevine says:

      “HAVE TO” go to Lisbon? I’m only just a tiny bit jealous! I bet you do get some ideas. Here’s one for you: according to my son, the ukulele may have come to Hawaii from…Portugal!! That should get you thinking. 🙂

      I think this month felt so doable because it is all about JUST ideas. Glad to hear I’m not the only hungry frog.


  2. I’m like Joanna. I can only devote a very limited amount of time to PB ideas this month. If an idea leaps out at me, I grab it. But that hasn’t happened much in the last ten days. So last thing at night, or first thing in the morning, I force it. I ask myself what I have done or witnessed in the 24 hours that is different than usual and how can it yield a children’s story. Not every idea I come up with is a good idea (most actually look pretty blah to me right now), but maybe some of the ones that bomb will lead me to better ideas when I go back through the 30 I’ve collected at the end of the month.


    • beckylevine says:

      November business is the reason I’ve never done NaNo! I like the idea of looking back over my day–haven’t tried that yet. I think I’ll play with it this weekend. And I do think some of these ideas we’re having will turn out to be better than we think now!


  3. Tara says:

    Honestly, I wish I had the perspective of a participator rather than the hostess!


    • beckylevine says:

      Tara, does hosting mean you don’t have time to actually do the ideas? That’s a shame! But we really, really appreciate you getting us going on this. 🙂


  4. Loni Edwards says:

    Ribbit ribbit! 🙂 I’m like that too. I’m scribbling all day long. I don’t have much time so when I get an idea, I seize the moment! The guest posts have been so inspirational!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: