It’s the 12×12 blog party! six months down, six to go


and not just any party,

it’s …

Maybe it’s because I’m totally distracted some days in just keeping up, but I haven’t said much about what I’m doing with my writing. Here’s the scoop.

I’m not writing a book, I’m writing twelve books!

Julie Hedlund came up with an idea to write one picture book manuscript a month for all of this year. She had many story ideas after doing the Picture Book Idea Month challenge and wanted to actually use them. Then – since she felt she would be more successful if not doing it alone – she made it into a ‘community’ effort, named it 12 x 12 in 2012, and put out the invitation expecting a few dozen  picture book writing hopefuls to join in. What she didn’t realize is how popular this idea would immediately become and the exciting challenge it would turn into. Boasting over 400 members (yes! over 400 for this first-time challenge), can you imagine the vast number of potential picture books being written?

Now we are at the halfway point in this writing extravaganza and it’s time for a blog party. Julie has asked us to blog about it if we want to – either celebrating or lamenting. I think I will reveal my heart and take the risk of doing both. My post will probably be different from everyone else’s but … here goes.  (deep breath)

The ideas I have for stories are varied and definitely need work (most gleaned while doing PiBoIdMo), so when I began this challenge it was with the hope that I could actually pull together a few picture book manuscripts. Now that I’m a full-time part-time caregiver for a family member I have to try to keep writing when I don’t feel creative at all; some days knowing I have writing commitments is what helps keep me going.

Julie set up 12 x 12 in 2012 not only as a challenge, but as a learning experience for us. She has guest bloggers on a regular basis, each one bringing their own perspective and expertise to the writing (and illustrating) experience. Some days I’m  amazed at the forward thinking and ingenious ideas that are shared. I so appreciate the generosity of the contributors in their willingness to let us in on their secrets, what works for them, what is effectively-applied common knowledge, and what not to do. To be frank, sometimes I am a little overwhelmed. But always I am inspired to keep going.

With all that, what possibly could be my lament? Well, maybe it is more of a whine. My isolation. There’s the fact of a wonderful support group that has developed and I’m mostly on the outside of it. I don’t use Facebook where the support group is set up, and I just feel weary and blah some days, and wishing for the push that talking with another writer involved in this challenge could afford me. So, since it hasn’t really got anything to do with 12 x 12, it’s my own problem and I don’t have a lament after all!

This year so far, the six months gone by, have been challenging on many levels. As for my writing accomplishments, although I have five – not six – rough drafts written (I should say rough to very rough) I still hope to get twelve ready by the end of 2012. I can’t say that I’m delighted with all of them so far, but they are not polished yet. There’s room and time and permission for improvement. Further to that, 12 x 12 in 2012 has helped me even more to explore the fun of writing and to tap deeper into my creative thinking and possibilities.

In closing, I just want to say to Julie Hedlund, thank you for reaching beyond your own aspirations and drawing others into your scope of imagination. This is a truly amazing experience. Where else can an aspiring picture book author have access to the abundance of talent and wisdom of published authors and illustrators – and for such a great deal? What better way to learn and share and meet others of like mind without having to leave home, allowing us to continue the flow of writing? And thank you to the inspiring guest bloggers – the writers and illustrators willing to be involved – the ones who have already brought so much and the ones we have yet to be fortunate to meet.

This is an exciting adventure and we’re only halfway there!

It will surely continue to be amazing.

Party on 12 x 12’ers!

Be sure to check out other 12×12 blog party posts here.

Oh, and Julie plans to do this again in 2013, so if you missed out this year or feel you’ve just begun to tap the well, you’ll have another opportunity. How great is that!

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

34 responses to “It’s the 12×12 blog party! six months down, six to go

  1. I celebrate YOU, Lynn!! You are incredible with all you’re doing. God bless you! And keep writing!!


    • oh, Sue, you are such a sweetie. Thank you! You encourage me with your words, even though I know your challenges are even greater than mine. Bless you.


  2. I’m at five, also. I hope for twelve. I feel great about five! It’s more than I would’ve done without 12 x 12 to inspire me. Congrats on yours and PARTY!!!!


  3. You are doing great, and though I am sorry that you arenn’t active in the Facebook group, feel free to e-mail me whenever you need extra support. 🙂


  4. Well said! Congratulations on making it this far. You have gained a wonderful suppport group through this experience. We are here for you!


  5. Well done on making it this far – being part of a group is the best incentive for keeping on going – we will have achieved so much by the year end!


    • Thanks, Ramona. I know I would not be writing this much if not for this challenge and group of writers. It will be exciting to see what we have accomplished.


  6. I second Rebecca – glad to ‘be there’ for support! Congrats on how far you’ve come at the halfway mark, and best of luck for the next 6 months!


  7. Five is a wonderful start to the year! It’s tough to create on those days when the mood isn’t right, but it ends up being worth it when you have those finished drafts. Good luck with the rest of the challenge!


    • You’re right, it’s downright hard to be creative sometimes. I guess I shouldn’t feel disappointed to have five and not six; there’s still time.
      Thanks for the encouragement, Heather.


  8. Good for you and your 5 drafts, Lynn, especially since your focus is split. It isn’t easy but you’re doing a great job. Keep going! 🙂


  9. Catherine Johnson

    You’ve done really well to get all that done with all that you have on your plate, Lynn. Well done and don’t worry about not being on Facebook. Blogging is even more personal anyway. Take care!


  10. You have done an AMAZING job, Lynn! Your comments about the Facebook group page are interesting. If you have any ideas about creating a forum next year where everyone could participate, I’d certainly be open to considering it. I, too, would like to broaden the support everyone receives.

    In the meantime, know that we are all cheering for you!


    • Thanks so much, Julie. I said in my post that some of my drafts are rough to very rough – but at least they are on paper. 🙂

      Having a forum where everyone could participate is a good idea, I’ll have to ponder that awhile. Thanks for considering it. And I very much appreciate the support.


  11. Five is fabulous, and doing it while being a caregiver is challenging. You are doing so well! Good luck, and yell if you need some moral support. We are here!


    • Joanna, if I didn’t have some respite help here I doubt I’d be able to sneak away to do as much as I am. Thanks very much for the encouragement and support.


  12. So nice to meet you, Lynn! Congrats on accomplishing so much…especially in the face of the burden of caregiving…not an easy task, I know. 🙂
    I’m so happy you shared your disappointment with not being active in the Facebook group…I’ve felt that way too…it’s just so difficult to find the time…I glance at what people are saying…and comment briefly sometimes…but don’t have the opportunity to join in regularly…and it looks like there is a lot of support and interaction and critique stuff going on there.
    Best of luck in the second half of 2012…and happy writing…I believe that creating is a very uplifting activity. 🙂


    • Hi Vivian, I have noticed how much 12×12’ers appreciate the FaceBook group, but so far I prefer to not have or use FB, which is unfortunate for me since so many have gravitated to it. I’m glad for everyone who has found such camaraderie there, though. (It would likely be a huge time-suck for me and I can’t take on another one of those. 🙂 )
      Thanks for your best wishes, I also believe creating is a very uplifting activity. I wish you all the best in the next six months of this challenge. 🙂


  13. I love everything about this post because it’s a great example of the fact that we are a TRIBE! Facebook or not, Blog Party or not, all 400 of us are in the trenches together getting these rough drafts sanded down. Be encouraged! And I’m glad to have found your blog…I’ve been WAY behind in catching up on 12×12 blogs, so consider yourself buddied. (Whether you like it or not, I guess!)


    • oh my, I hardly know what to say about this. Thank you, Carter. I feel an emotion bubble taking shape.
      I’ve just been buddied? Like it or not … well, I think like it!


  14. Congratulations, Lynn, on all your accomplishments in spite of care-giving! This is a very supportive and encouraging group. I wish you a bouquet of flowers and everything great! May God bless you!


  15. Good job! IYou still have more done than me! Keep on going!


    • ahhh, but I’m not ten years old anymore. You are doing things I never even dreamed of at that age. I’ll keep going as long as I can. Thanks for the nudge. 🙂


  16. I love your quote…”I’m not writing a book, I’m writing twelve books!”
    Congrats on all you have done via 12x12in2012 Picture Book Challenge!


I look forward to reading your greatly appreciated comments. Thanks for making my day! :)

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