I find that starting a story isn’t really that hard. Maybe the sitting down and writing or drawing it is hard, but the actual coming up with an idea isn’t that hard. Okay, if we are talking about coming up with a good idea that’s hard. Coming up with a gem that can be taken from idea to finished product? That’s really hard.
It’s really not the idea’s fault, because any idea can be good or bad. I’m not putting all the fault on the writer or illustrator, because there are so many obstacles that get into the way of writing and illustrating. Some of these things we can change, and some not. I’m here as a cheerleader for you to do your best when you can.
Don't Worry About Winning
If you are not able to finish Smart Dummies in these two months, you are not a failure. Smart Dummies was never about the winning. The idea behind it is to encourage you to work faster, make some good daily habits and get a good start on your project. Your project is something you can continue working on in the future.
Don't Stop Drawing
Maybe you only get your character drawings done next month. Maybe you don’t get them finished until Christmas. You might only get ideas of what your character (or characters) look like and that’s okay. It’s still progress. If you start over you wont lose what you’ve already learned. If you just do one spread a month you’ll get your dummy done in about 12-16 months. Maybe you do one page a month, but that’s still a finished book in about 2-3 years. That’s more dummies finished than when you started!
Don't Get Mad At Yourself
There are times when I feel like a complete failure in life. I set out a goal to finish my work in a certain period of time and don’t come anywhere near to achieving my goals. The worst thing I do to myself is to punish myself for not achieving everything I wanted. I end up upset for days or weeks and those are days/weeks I can not work. Celebrate every milestone and always forgive yourself for making mistakes. Forgive yourself anytime you aren’t working. Some things will take priority to writing and illustrating! It’s okay to miss out on working. It’s also okay to get angry sometimes, but be sure to forgive yourself and move on.
Don't Give Up!
I can not tell you that you are going to be published. I can’t tell you that any of your publishing dreams will come true. I can tell you that there is no chance of you getting published if you don’t try.
No one should EVER tell you that you should give up. If someone tells you to give up the problem lies with them and not you. It’s possible that your work isn’t ready yet. That does NOT give them the right to tell you to stop.
Keep working and give yourself as much love as you can muster. This is a rough road we are on. I have a lot of friends who have been on the road 10 years or more who are just now getting published. It is possible. I’m going to give you a list of podcasts below that have helped me through some tough times. You should be able to find these wherever you get your podcasts!
Some of these podcasts may have content not suitable for children. Please let me know if there are trigger warnings that should be included because I can’t remember anything specific, but will not say that all of these podcasts are trigger free.
Artists Helping Artists – Fine Art, studio information and marketing/promoting your work.
Face the Truth – Interviews with people in all kinds of art fields from Comedians to Photographers.
Book Friends Forever – Books/Publishing – Lots of different topics covered in making children’s books.
Literaticast – Everything about books and publishing. Lots of great industry information
Picturebooking Podcast – Books/Publishing – Dedicated to exploring the world of picture books with wonderful interviews with writers and illustrators.
The Children’s Book Podcast – Books/Publishing – Interviews with those who create children’s books.
Comics Lab – Webcomics – Everything about making a living in comics, self publishing, some traditional publishing.
Graphic Novel TK – Graphic Novel -Everything about Graphic Novels from idea to making sales.
The Comics Experience Make Comics Podcast – Comic Book -Tons of comic information with interviews with lots of comic people.
3 Point Perspective – Covers everything you need to know about Children’s Illustration.
The Manuscript Academy – Writing- Covers different topics in writing through interviews with industry professionals.
Writing for Children – Writing – Short podcast with powerful tips to improve your writing.