Human beings with creative bents have this terrible habit of living at the extreme ends.
On our good days, we're ready to conquer the world ... we're going to write, paint, sculpt, or compose the next great whatever that will bring the world to its knees.
But then the bad days come, and who the heck do we think we are? No writing, painting, sculpting, or composing will happen today, because what difference will it make anyway? Like adding a drop of water to the ocean ... who will even notice or care?
When I have days like that, it helps to get into a class or workshop with other creatives and talk shop, or get on YouTube and watch someone draw and chat about what they do.
Then I get all inspired and carried away once again and write my little articles and blogs, and draw all my little pictures, hoping that yet some other creative will find a bit of inspiration from me, too. The best folks for a creative to hang out with are other creatives!
This is especially true for writers and drawers of picture books ... that’s when we learn more, grow more, and remember what we sometimes forget ... that all of that energy of getting inspired and carried away will shine through our work. It’s that invisible, elusive quality or energy that you can’t explain, but you will know when it’s there and when it’s not.
Those readers will know, too, because when it’s there, they will get pulled into that book and story. That’s when writer and reader connect and the magic happens ... and now that reader is learning and growing and getting all inspired and carried away, too!
Reading is a special kind of escape, especially for young readers, because as they explore and experience the made-up worlds we create, they are actually discovering and learning about themselves and the real world. When the book is laid aside, they will go back to the real world a bit more equipped.
And that’s what success looks like for us picture-book makers!
So let's keep writing and drawing. And taking classes and workshops. And gettng together to collaborate on projects. And encouraging one another. And learning and growing.
And the joy we experience will shine through every word and pencil stroke to encourage and touch a reader somewhere in some important way ...
'Cause that's what He gifted us to do!