12×12 Challenge

The school year advances, but I have not given up on my goals.  I’ve somehow managed a few pieces of pursuing my writing craft here and there, though it’s been a struggle this academic year.  For instance, I not only participated in Picture Book Idea Month, I completed my goal successfully and won the grand prize (having my top 5 ideas presented/discussed with an agent).  That is still in motion. 

Now I push myself forward (as I mentioned before) by entering the “12 x 12 challenge” for 2016.  It’s a picture book writing forum/membership wherein I will be pushed (I hope) and encouraged (with feedback on my work) to produce at least 12 picture books this year (1 each month).  Julie Hedlund is the creative mind behind this one.  I think this is an incredibly good thing.  I want to keep producing!

I’m also knee deep in some Alaskan research on another project.  I’ve found 2 historical figures I’m greatly interested in writing about (one more prominent than I realized, the other almost impossible to get more information on).  I’m using all my journalism skills to dig into the past when records weren’t really a priority (after all, who writes records about daily life when they’re surviving the elements?).  Especially where women were concerned.  Especially if they were minorities.  It’s a struggle, but I keep poking at it (sometimes waiting weeks for responses from leads or no responses at all).  It’s taken months to get to the point where I’m at now, but I’ve still got a ways to go.  I just hope the interest doesn’t die down before the research is finished.  We shall see what happens with those projects (and yes, I’m hoping they will be creative nonfiction picture books when all is said and done).

It’s a new year and I’ve come to realize that updating this blog should NOT be my #1 priority (as my guilty conscious always tries to convince me).  My writing should be.  It’s a catch 22, isn’t it?  I should do both, but this year I’m SO exhausted after work (25 students who are six-seven years old will do that to you) that it’s a struggle to get all of these things done.  I’m continuing on as best as I can.  I refuse to give up on my dreams or my writing.

About jenabenton

I'm an elementary school teacher, writer, illustrator and storyteller.

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