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New Year, New Children's Picture Book? Here’s How To Get Started

Don’t procrastinate! Get started with fresh ideas for the children’s picture book you've always wanted to write.

Writing your first (or next) children’s picture book as a new year’s resolution is one thing. It’s a whole other thing when you actually have to make it happen. But don’t worry. 2023 is the year to say “No” to excuses and “Yes” to your writing goals. To get started, check out these simple strategies below and strive to put them in motion.

Read A Whole Lot of Picture Books

Visit your neighborhood bookstore, major retailer (ex: Target, Walmart, Barnes and Noble), or drug store (ex: Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, etc.) and read some of the picture books on the shelves. Buy the ones that catch your interest and study them. Find a pattern in the story’s tone and style. Pay close attention to their themes, opening lines, word choice, and sentence structure. And identify the conflict and resolution. The goal is to recognize and understand the storytelling elements in each picture book to provide yourself with examples and guidance on how to start writing your picture book.

Try A Writing Prompt

A writing prompt is a writing exercise that allows writers to jot down ideas based a word, phrase, sentence, or image within a specific time frame. It’s a great warmup to do before you start writing for the day, but it’s also a brainstorming technique that may help you develop a story idea. Here are some writing prompts for you to try. Choose one and write whatever comes to mind for 30 minutes. Then read it out loud and see if you can pull any story ideas or creative details from it to write a story:

jump run sun moon stars books my worst enemy first day of school bully vegetables my favorite candy best friend rainbow hairy dog bubbles birthday party soccer let’s talk volunteer cat reading what’s for dinner?

Take a Walk

Exercise may or may not be one of your favorite activities, but walking (whether on a treadmill or outdoors) can help boost your creativity, which in turn will aid in developing new perspectives and story ideas. Make an effort to take a walk for at least 15 to 30 minutes before writing. Then grab a snack, your notebook, and a pen, and start writing!

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