Posted by: nancyisanders | June 28, 2010

Writing Picture Books

Picture books are not necessarily my “career.” They are my passion. They are my delight.

This past year last August, my husband and I became empty-nesters. Both our adult sons now live and work in cities nearby.

This meant that for the first time in my entire life I had endless hours day after day after day to sit down and write. Many days found me up at 6:30 am after my husband left for work sitting down to work on writing deadlines until 6:00 pm when Jeff arrived home from work.

Those hours were spent building my career and earning income and writing for deadlines under contract.

But each day after those hours were logged in and those daily deadlines met and those contracts fulfilled, I pulled out my picture book projects and chased after my dreams. I rekindled the fires of my passion and my heart thrilled to explore and imagine and create through the medium I love most of all…writing picture books.

My goal is to immerse myself in the wonderful world of picture books. I’m constantly reading books on how to improve my craft. Right now I’m in the middle of Anne Whitford Paul’s marvelous new book and I’m growing by leaps and bounds. The last one I read was Anastasia Suen’s book on Picture Writing.

I have a constant pile of picture books I’m bringing home and reading from the library. I’m studying them and evaluating them and learning from them.

I have a constant pile of picture book manuscripts I’m writing. I’m not trying to farm out and market the ones I’ve already written. My goal is to write and write and write new picture books all the time based on what I’m learning and reading and studying.

For the past 2 years I haven’t tried much to submit things to picture book editors. I’ve only been trying to find a picture book agent to represent me. And I’m trying not to send out old manuscripts I wrote 2 or 3 years ago. I’m trying to write fresh manuscripts based on today’s current market and today’s skills I’ve acquired as a picture book writer.

What are you doing to rekindle your passion for picture books?


  1. Nancy, we share the same passion—but you’ve known that for years (((0:) I agree with your plan wholeheartedly! Have a WONDERFUL time in the world of picture books! I too, am seeking a picture book agent. I’d like to read the book by Anastasia Seun ASAP. Keep us up to date on your progress and good news (((o;
    Love you,

  2. Thank you, Sherri, and yes, it’s fun to share the same passion as writing buddies/friends/sisters!!!! Love, Nancy

  3. Great blog post Nancy, I too love picture books. I am about to submit some stories I’ve been working on for a while along with one new one just to mix things up. It will be interesting to see which they like (if any at all lol)

    Good luck

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