Posted by: nancyisanders | May 15, 2014

Nonfiction Picture Book in One Week: Thursday

pitterpat at computer HPIM8212 - Version 2

When I took my break today, guess who I found working on my picture book when I came back to my laptop?!!! My writing buddy Pitterpat, lol!

pitterpat at computer HPIM8211

As you can see by all the papers and notes I have at my side here on the couch where I’ve been working today, I’m digging into research…and you are too!

Here’s the basic schedule I followed on Day 4 of writing my nonfiction picture book in one week.

8:05: Worked on my First Writing Session according to the calendar we’re following right now.

9:45: Took a break for breakfast.

11:30 Continued on my first writing session. I was having a tough time getting the Middle: 2nd Half written. It seemed like every sentence I wanted to write required me to do some in-depth research. So I finally rearranged my rhythm and it really helped. Instead of researching for an hour and then writing, I researched for about 15 minutes, then wrote a sentence. That seemed to work much better. So my new rhythm for the day was:

research 15 minutes
write 1-2 sentences
research 15 minutes
write 1-2 sentences
and so on.

12:20: Took a break for lunch.

2:00 Continued in my new research/writing rhythm as I worked on my sidebars for my Second Writing Session.

4:00 Done for the day, but didn’t get to the Third Writing Session, so I just read the Author’s Note in my mentor text and planned to think about my Author’s Note until I get back to writing.

One of the things I’ve been doing all week and continued to do as I was thinking about my Author’s Note, was I’ve been carrying around a spiral notebook. As I do tasks such as the dishes or go somewhere in the car with my husband Jeff, I carry this notebook with me and jot down ideas as I go.

That’s because the bees in the beehive are busy working on my story even when I’m not. I’ll do something and suddenly an idea pops into my head like a tablespoon of honey from the beehive! I jot it down in my notebook so I won’t lose it.

Any time you’re working on a manuscript with such intensity as this, I recommend you carry around a notebook or scrap paper, too. You don’t want to lose any precious ideas!


  1. Even though I’m not writing a nf pb in one week, I’m enjoying your photos, especially the first one with Pitterpat peeking over the laptop!

    • Oh hahaha, isn’t that one cute? I just had to post it. It looks like she’s so busy writing!

  2. Thanks for my schedule for the day. I am on it šŸ˜€

    • Yay, Jackie!!!!!

      • Good morning. I am waiting on today’s schedule. It is 0905 EST. I will check back in an hour. See you then. And thanks again for doing that šŸ˜€

      • Oh so sorry, Jackie! It posted late by mistake. If you have any questions about today’s post, just let me know!

      • Thanks, Nancy šŸ˜€ This project worked out better than I planned. I have a draft. I am so excited, I do not know what to do with myself. I have been struggling to write this story for months, and now I have a copy that I am proud of. I have to revise and edit, but at least I have a complete copy with which to work. šŸ˜€

      • Yay, Jackie!!!! Here I am doing cartwheels for joy at your news:

        / \ / \ / \ / \

        You made my day!

      • mine too

  3. Nancy, although I have signed up via email with, I have not received any of your posts. They look extremely helpful and are just what I need. This one in particular, as I am working on a historic non-fiction story. Did I add my info incorrectly? Thanks!

    • Hmmm. Not sure why that’s happening…try 2 things. See if it’s landing in your junk e-mails. If that doesn’t work, try doing the RSS feed again. Let me know if it works this time or not. Glad you’re joining in the journey!

  4. Thanks, Nancy! Where would it show up, other than my email account? I don’t think I have an app to capture the RSS feed, but I will try it again. BTW, would you just condense the week into one day if you were writing a story a day? I’m participating in WOW at the end of June . . .

    • It’s supposed to just show up in your e-mail account if you sign up with your e-mail. But definitely check your junk or spam e-mails to see if it’s landing in there instead. And I don’t think you can actually write a nonfiction picture book in just one day unless it’s a topic you don’t have to do any research for. So if there’s a topic you know inside out, just condense the brainstorming and writing into one day and toss out the research. Sounds like a challenge!!! :o)

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