Monday, January 4, 2010

Picture Book Marathon

Running 26.2 miles is an amazing accomplishment.  What is impressive is the discipline, determination, and perseverance it takes to train for a marathon.  I should know.  I've done it before (visit my running blog at  As a New Year's goal, I decided to challenge myself by participating in another marathon.

The kind of marathon I'm talking about is a different one.  It's a picture book marathon.  I got the inspiration after reading the November/December 2009 issue of the SCBWI Bulletin.  Jean Reagan and Lora Koehler came up with this writing idea.  The purpose of the marathon is to get into the writing routine by setting aside time to write.

The event starts in February.  By the end of the month, rest days allowed, you'll be logging in 26 writing days.  Jean and Lora used, "Once upon a time..." to get them started.  Keep in mind that you will be forming a different story every day with a beginning, middle, and an end.

In preparation for the marathon, you'll need the proper gear.  This means warming up your computer or grabbing your favorite notebook and pen, or whatever works for you.

Getting the right nutrition is also important.  The toughest part of writing is generating ideas that will sustain your creativity.  Get your cues from family, friends, pictures, the playground, etc.

But the most important part of training is putting in mileage.  This means sticking with the plan and writing daily.  In the process, you'll find that once you get a momentum going, the writing will be effortless.

Before you know it, you will be on your way to completing a marathon.  Once you reach the finish line, you'll be proud that you started and finished your first marathon.  The reward of completion will be life changing.  What was once unimaginable becomes attainable.  You begin to believe in yourself.

After the event is over, you'll look back at your draft in a whole new way.  You'll be pleasantly surprised to find some drafts worth pursuing.  You'll be inspired to edit and revise even more- entering more marathons (honing your craft).  Eventually, you will complete a well-polished manuscript, ready for submission, in hopes to win a gold medal- the book deal.

I am excited about my first picture book marathon.  Join me in this fun-filled event.  For more information on participating in this marathon, visit Jean and Lora's website at  Good luck on your first marathon.  Hope to see you at the finish line!

Keep on running...uh, I mean writing.


Follow me as I write my way through the Picture Book Marathon:
Picture Book Marathon: Mile 1-6
Picture Book Marathon: Mile 7-14
Picture Book Marathon: Mile 15-21
Picture Book Marathon:  The Finish Line

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