Woo-hoo! Made it! And I don't even feel like I'm gonna barf on the finish line. This month has been a really valuable exercise in commitment, writing and time management. No, I do not have 26 sparkling new complete first drafts. But, I have a lot of work that I'm excited about and look forward to reminding myself what the heck I actually wrote back in the first couple weeks of February. I honestly can't remember. I've got more than enough work to last me through the year, so having the opportunity to pick up where I left off on these manuscripts, rather than starting cold, is a huge benefit of the marathon.
Coincidentally, I had the added pleasure of meeting and getting to know the Picture Book Marathon founders and organizers, Jean Reagan and Lora Koehler, at the SCBWI Golden Gate Conference at Asilomar this past weekend. What great people they are, and I'm so glad I had the chance to thank them in person for creating the marathon and for working so hard on it. Again, it's been a great month. I encourage all picture book writers to join the marathon next year. But instead of waiting, start now. Set a goal that's lofty, yet manageable and just plug away at it. The key is not to judge the work. Just write, and the rest will follow.