My New Math
I’ve completed, once again, the PiBoIdMo challenge.
This was the fourth year I’ve participated, and I find I’m still picking ideas from lists as far back as four years ago. A number of ideas have been polished into full fledged stories. Thanks to Tara Lazar and her marvelous guest authors, editors, and agents, not only do I have ideas, I have knowledge and insight and skills that I haven’t had before.
If you’ve read previous posts, you might know that I shifted focus to non-fiction last year. I tweaked a February 14:14 challenge on reviewing the elements of picture books to write reviews on non-fiction works. In October I declined attending my state SCBWI conference to be able to attend the NF 4 NF non-fiction conference in Texas.
So in November I adopted a new strategy for PiBoIdMo. I tailored the challenge, daring myself to come up with TWO ideas per day: one non-fiction PB idea, and one fiction PB idea.
Dosn’t 30 + 30 = 60, you say? Yes, I fell below my personal challenge of 60 ideas. And yes, the goal to complete the group challenge was 30 ideas. And YES, I have 16 more ideas than if I had accepted the norm.
I learned this year that the sum of an equation depends on the addends in the equation. The addends PiBoIdMo offered, plus the addends I dared to include, gave me a better sum than the ordinary.
Make the challenges you accept your own challenges. Dare to tweak and modify and add to keep the challenge relevant, and practical for you. Divide a challenge into meaningful parts. Hey, subtract, even–sometimes less can be more.
I now know that how I add ideas to my writing journey isn’t going to be common core anymore.
I like my new math. I think I’ll keep writing with it.