Posted by: nancyisanders | November 16, 2013

Nonfiction Picture Book: Let’s Get Motivated, Part 2

HPIM5891 - Version 2

Accountability is a good way to start getting motivated.

But how can you stay motivated to stick with me here on my blog for the upcoming two or three months and write…ACTUALLY WRITE…the first draft of an 800-word nonfiction picture book from beginning to end?

Not just stay in your chrysalis and never emerge as a butterfly.

Not just read about how to write a nonfiction picture book. Not just think about how to do it. Not just daydream about how to do it. But actually write this manuscript.

The best way to stay motivated is to plan now, plan today, plan this exact moment what you’re going to do to stay motivated so that by the end of the journey you’ll have actually written your picture book.

What are you going to plan? That’s for you to decide. It’s important to choose a method that will actually work for YOU.

Would having another writer join in the journey help you stay motivated for the next 3 months?
Then call up a writer friend and ask her to come along and join in the fun!

Would blogging about it on your own blog help you stay motivated to follow through and write this book?
Then start blogging about it right away and share the progress you’re making with all your readers.

Would a deadline help you stay motivated?
Then get out your calendar and circle January 15 in red and make that your deadline and stick with your goal.

Would a regular calendar help you stay motivated?
Then print out a blank calendar for November, December, and January. Fill it in right now with the hours you are committed to take to write on this project and don’t let anything else fill in those slots.

Would a cash prize help you stay motivated for the next 3 months?
Then put $100 in an envelope and hide it somewhere you won’t be able to get it until you actually finish that first draft. When you’re done, take a well-deserved shopping spree!

The point is this: By planning ahead now to reach the finish line in about 3 months, you can make your dream a reality.

You can write a nonfiction book from beginning to end and actually get it done. And in today’s market where nonfiction picture books are hot, this is a fantastic accomplishment to make as a children’s writer.

So how about it? What are you going to do today to make sure you stay motivated for the next 3 months to write, actually write, the first draft of your 800-word nonfiction picture book? We’d love to hear and cheer you on!

PS. Just a note. With the holidays coming up, you might find extra time to write or you might not have any time to write. I’ll be including lots of blank spaces for those of us who need to take time off from writing during this busy season but these blank spaces will also be perfect for those of us who have extra vacation time to devote to writing. So please don’t feel stressed that this will add one more item to your holiday to-do list…you’ll have plenty of time to finish this first draft on a schedule that works well for you!


  1. it seemed like a good idea generally,… something I’d like to do sometime… but I’d have to pass on it for now because I couldn’t think of any topic I’d write about..

    BINGO! A topic bonked me on the head, something that I’d thought of as an article/story for adults someday. And it strikes me this would be make great read for kids, too. An incident from our 1880s provincial history. Research can be done locally.

    So I’d like to come along on your adventure once I’m done my Nanowrimo project, a mystery for my grandson.

    • Oh yay, Christine! I’m so glad you got bonked on the head!!! And thanks for reminding me of Nanowrimo going on right now. We’ll start off nice and slow so everyone can finish that who is working on it. And what a wonderful project yours sounds like!

  2. This sounds like a wonderful idea Nancy.

    • Thanks, Kristi. Glad you feel inspired!

  3. This sounds perfect for my needs. I’ve been “working” on a biography since June. I’d love to jump on board. Thanks!

    • Oh I’m hoping this will help you finish up your project successfully!

  4. I have two topics in mind for the book and a fun treat for myself when I finish the first draft!

  5. I could certainly benefit from the accountability.

    • I think accountability is good for all of us! It’s too easy to get distracted, don’t you think?

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