Welcome to Inkygirl: Reading, Writing and Illustrating Children's Books (archive list here) which includes my Creating Picture Books series, Advice For Young Writers and IllustratorsWriter's and Illustrator's Guide To Twitter, interviews, my poetry for young readers, #BookADay, writing/publishing industry surveys, and 250, 500, 1000 Words/Day Writing Challenge. Also see my Inkygirl archives,  and comics for writers (including Keiko and Will Write For Chocolate). Also check out my Print-Ready Archives for Teachers, Librarians, Booksellers and Young Readers.

I tweet about the craft and business of writing and illustrating at @inkyelbows. If you're interested in my art or other projects, please do visit DebbieOhi.com. Thanks for visiting! -- Debbie Ridpath Ohi

Entries in challenge (6)

Tuesday
Oct242017

Already given up on doing NaNoWriMo but look for an achievable daily writing challenge?

Every year, I think about doing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I've participated in the challenge a few years in the past and completed a first draft of a middle grade novel. Doing NaNoWriMo is always fun and I did end up submitting the novel after many revisions. I got some encouraging rejection letters but in the end, I had to shelve the mss. 

One of my challenges in recent years has been that November has always been a very busy time for me in terms of travel and/or work. This year, I have three out-of-town trips during the month.

So....no NaNoWriMo.

But I'm going to be doing daily writing anyway. I've also added badges if you want to use pockets of time for revising instead of writing. You can find the details on this web page and feel free to browse my Inkygirl Daily Writing Challenge on Facebook for inspiration as well.

I hope you'll join me!

Tuesday
Jan262016

Looking for a writing/revising challenge but short on time? Try this.

To writers out there who never have trouble finding time to write or revise: pls ignore the rest of this post.

To those who are always putting their own projects on the back burner because of bill-paying work taking priority, family obligations, favors for other people, insecurity or fear, procrastination or a zillion other reasons, feel free to check out the Inkygirl Daily Writing Challenge. 

More info on this webpage, plus there's an Inkygirl Daily Writing Challenge FB Page where I sometimes post tips and comics.

I've also added a bunch of time goal badges for those who think that way instead of wordcount.

Thursday
Nov272014

Writers: Didn't Have Time For #NaNoWriMo? Try 250, 500 or 1000 Words A Day (and why I need to do this)

If you're a writer who has no trouble banging out thousands of words a day on a regular basis, you can skip my 250, 500 or 1000 Words A Day Writing Challenge.

This post is for others who fit into one or more of the following situations:

- You started NaNoWriMo with good intentions but ended up falling further and further behind until it was way too late to try catching up.

- You've always wanted to try a writing challenge like NaNoWriMo but knew you'd never have the time to write 50,000 words in November.

- You have a day job and need some motivation to squeeze out extra time to do regular writing.

- You have kids, so life is often crazybusy with parenting duties and an unpredictable schedule. You need some motivation to carve out writing time here and there.

- You're an illustrator who is trying to flex your writing muscles. A writing challenge with achievable goals could help you get that picture book or other writing project finished.

- You already make a living as a writer or are a published writer, but have always wanted to try another genre...but your paid/contracted work has always come first. Even with limited time, you want to get that personal writing project of yours off the back burner and make some steady progress.

In my case: I am a children's book illustrator who has just started writing picture books. I love my work and I love making picture books, but I also have not forgotten my roots: I have been writing books for young people for as long as I can remember. None of them have been published, though I have been steadily working on my craft; judging from the gradual improvement in quality of editorial rejection letters, my writing has been getting better. I've gotten close (tantalizingly, frustratingly close) for my latest novel, but "close" is not the same as a book contract. I also had my YA novel-in-progress nominated for the SCBWI Sue Alexander "Most Promising For Publication" Award.

Then a rejection ended up (in a roundabout way) getting me a book illustration contract with Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers, and my novel-writing got put on hold. It's ironic but a part of the business: I've since had more than one editor express interest in seeing my novels, but I haven't had as much time to work on my writing because of my contracted illustration work.

With what I've learned since then, I'm realizing why my already-written novels didn't sell and why they SHOULDN'T have sold, and have shelved them. I've started working on a new project which I'm pretty excited about, but don't spend nearly enough time on. It's been a crazy year for me: I illustrated three Judy Blume chapter books, 10 Judy Blume covers, finished the illustrations for my first solo picture book (WHERE ARE MY BOOKS? with Simon & Schuster), illustrated RUBY ROSE ON HER TOES (picture book by Rob Sanders, with HarperCollins), did sketches for MITZI TULANE: PRESCHOOL DETECTIVE (picture book by Lauren McLaughlin, with Random House), some sketches for SEA MONKEY AND BOB (picture book by Aaron Reynolds, with Simon & Schuster), did my first book tour, talks and workshops at conferences, then had family health issues.

But something else I've learned: life is ALWAYS going to be crazybusy, one way or another. I will NEVER have the luxury of time that I had in my pre-published days, and that's not a bad thing. If I want to achieve my goal of getting my novels for young people published, I have to adjust and squeeze out writing time however I can.

Hoping some of you join me in the Challenge! Here's more info about how to participate. Feel free to post below or in my Writing Challenge: 250, 500 or 1000 Words Facebook page. Or you can just participate without letting anyone know...it's entirely up to you.

Monday
Jul142014

Comic Caption Challenge

 

Any suggestions for a caption? Feel free to post your caption suggestion below, on my Facebook Inkygirl Page, or on Instagram.

Please keep try to keep captions family-friendly, thanks. 

Wednesday
Apr252012

Just signed up for the Story A Day May Challenge!

StoryADay

 

I know, I know -- writing an entire story every day sounds crazy. But according to the rules of the challenge, it doesn't have to be a super-long story. I'm going to use this challenge as motivation to come up with SOME story plot every day: each with a beginning, middle and end. Some of these might be turned into picture books, middle grade novels or YA novels.

May is the first month in a while where I won't be doing any traveling, so I actually have a chance of completing this challenge. You can do the challenge on your own, of course, but there's also the opportunity of commiserating with others via the StoryADay.org online community. I've joined the Kid Lit group, for example.

Story A Day is the brainchild of freelance writer Julie Duffy. "Sick of starting and never finishing writing projects, in April 2010 I announced that I was challenging myself to write a story a day in May." She opened the challenge to others and was surprised at the response. "The enthusiasm for the project amazed me. It spoke of a hunger to write, no, a hunger for permission to write that I never dreamed was so widespread."

After May, I'll take the best plots and put them in my Rainy Day Story Folder to inspire me when I'm looking for new book ideas.

For more info about the challenge, visit StoryADay.org and follow the #storyaday hashtag on Twitter.

So who's with me?

Wednesday
Oct122011

Ongoing writing challenge with more flexibility than NaNoWriMo: 250, 500 or 1000 Words A Day

WritingChallengeLogo

Augh, I admit I've been lax on my daily wordcount goals because of more pressing deadlines.

BUT NO MORE! I've been thinking about signing up for NaNoWriMo but I think I need to be more realistic in my writing goals, especially since I'm away for part of next month (NaNoWriMo month).

SO....I'm going to start up the Daily Words challenge again. For those of you who aren't familiar with this challenge, please read these guidelines. It's a challenge for those who may sometimes have to put their writing on hold when life gets in the way, and who tend to get discouraged during NaNoWriMo month when they start falling behind. It's also a challenge for those who tend to write more slowly.

If you already pump out thousands of words on a regular basis with no problem, then you don't need this challenge. :-)

Feel free to adjust the wordcount challenge to fit your own output level: 50 words a day? 2000 words a day?

So...who's with me? Or if you've been taking the challenge all along and have been successful, do you have any tips to share?

For more details and for badges/icons, see:

http://inkygirl.com/inkygirl-wordcount-challenge/

or use this shortcut:

http://bit.ly/dailywords

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dailywrite