I'd mentioned before that I had a project that just hasn't been moving along as fast as I'd like. Well, as part of my determination to complete it (and sooner rather than later), I've done two things:
First, I asked another picture book writer/illustrator if he'd be interested in keeping tabs on each other progress. It always helps me to have a deadline. He very graciously said yes, and hasn't really heard from me since. (But I am working on it, Rick, honest.)
Secondly, I found my muse.
Not for inspiration but for motivation - someone that will be looking me in the eye everyday and waiting for me to get back to my drawing board. Now, I must mention that my husband has been filling this role for some time. And while I appreciate it, he doesn't wait beside my work for me every day (sorry, hon).
So here's my muse.
Isn't he something?
The story I'm working on has a line of ants constantly wandering through the illustrations so this little guy is perfect. Plus he has such an expectant and welcoming look on his little face, it's just fun to sit down beside him and feel like we're partnering in the progress of this story. When I look at him, I'm instantly transported to my make believe world. Even the tilt of his little head keeps me going.
And the itty-bitty snail at his feet has his own story too. Last year, a friend and I had been talking about a lack of progress and the frustration that comes with that and came across a little snail. (We were unloading rocks for a display and had inadvertently brought him with us.) But here's what we learned from that snail - as long as you're moving forward, you're making progress. The speed doesn't necessarily matter. My editors may not always agree but in general it's a pretty good policy.
So, between my muse and I, we're going to make progress. I'll keep you posted.
What does it take to keep you moving forward?
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