First, let me say that I am in LOVE with the enthusiasm and the energy of the 12 x 12 group this year. I have honestly never witnessed such a smooth transition. New people participating early and often, and veterans stepping in to help before I even get there. It’s incredible!
I know so many of you are beginning your year full of ideas from StoryStorm and full of excitement for what you will accomplish this year. And you will. I can guarantee that no matter where you are in your journey – brand new or multi-published – you will grow as an author or illustrator this year. I see you. I am inspired by you.
All of the above comments make it more painful for me to say what I need to say next, because more than anything, I want to be the cheerleader I usually am, spurring you all on to great deeds. ESPECIALLY in the first check-in post of the year. But I cannot ignore the elephant in the room that is keeping many of you from producing the way I know you can – the way I know I can.
That elephant is all the division in the world right now. Many of us feel paralyzed and unable to create. I want you to know I see you, too. I am inspired by you, also.
What gives me hope is that I know that no matter our individual differences, we are all one. We are all connected. Together, we will bridge the divide.
Truly, it matters not our individual views on each issue that is debated. What matters is that the people in this community understand that what brings us together is far greater than what tears us apart. We share a desire and a calling to share this fundamental truth with the children who will inherit this world.
Our work is more important, more necessary, more profound, and more transformative than perhaps it ever has been before. So whether you are in a stage of frenzied creativity where your words and art are flowing, or you feel stymied by life events, national events, or world events, please know that in the end your words will make a difference. Whether you write them now or months from now, they will make a difference.
Know that I am glad you are here. ALL are welcome. ALL are valued. Each and every one of you.
Now, to get on with the purpose of the check-in post, I will report that I revised a manuscript this month but I did not write a new draft. I’m disappointed because I think this is the first time in the history of the challenge that I haven’t come out of the gate strong with both a draft and a revision. Hopefully, this means I might not experience the slump I usually have in the middle of the year, right? I can make it up. That’s the thing about the challenge. Yes, the goal is to write 12 drafts, but really, it’s to write MORE than you would have if you were not in the challenge, to hold yourself accountable but also to have FUN in the process.
I suspect that many of you did indeed write a new draft this month, so….
Tell us your progress. Did you complete a draft and/or revision in January? Let us know in the Rafflecopter and in the comments. Our prize comes from this month’s Featured Author Cheryl Keely. The winner will receive a picture book critique!
Here is what you need to do to check in for a chance to win:
- See the Rafflecopter widget at the end of this post that says “Picture Book Critique from Cheryl Keely” at the top.
- Click on the “Comment on Cheryl’s post” button. Commenting on Cheryl’s post is mandatory for this giveaway and you can enter the Rafflecopter even if you didn’t write a draft this month. You can comment on the post here. Click ENTER.
- Click on the “Wrote a PB Draft” button. This will ask if you completed a PB draft in January. If you did, click ENTER, if you did not, move on to the next step.
- Click on the last “Revised a PB Draft” button. This will ask if you revised a PB in January. If you did, click ENTER. If not, move on to the next step.
- That’s it! Rafflecopter will track your points.
Usually, we have a two day check-in, but to get everyone familiar with the process, we are extending the check-in deadline to midnight Eastern on February 3rd to enter your results. Rafflecopter will draw a winner and it will be announced on the blog on February 4th.