Writing and Illustrating

I’m the kind of person who likes to do everything herself. I don’t buy things I can make, or pay for services I can do myself. It’s probably a huge character flaw, but that’s just my natural tendency. Aside from my writing goals this year, I’ve stumbled upon a new project I’m messing with right now. I’ve been thinking of it as a “super-secret side project” but now it’s not so secret: writing and illustrating.

I wrote a draft of a chapter book last year. It’s a sweet little story about a donkey, and I love it. On a whim, I picked up the draft to start revising, and I got a wild idea.

What if I illustrated the book myself?

I love illustrations. I just finished the illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and it was so much fun. Now, I’m a grown-up. I don’t need illustrations to enjoy a book. But you know what? They are so fun! It’s awesome to see imaginary worlds pictured for you. Especially in beautiful work.

I have no formal training in either writing or illustrating. I just like to do both. If you follow me on Instagram, I’ve shared a few of my illustrations. I knew I wanted illustrations for this chapter book and thought (true to self) why would I pay someone to do it when I can do it myself? (Like I said, probably a character flaw.)

But you know what? If I ever try and sell this book either through a publisher or self-published. I could have/offer the option of illustrations. Maybe they’d work, maybe not, but what do I have to lose? I like doing it, and it certainly is a fun way to spend a quiet January afternoon.

This is a giant project. I’ve never done a series of illustrations like this before. Who knows how long it will take me and how much time I can dedicate to it.

But you know what? All I can do is try. And if it goes nowhere, who cares. I think we could all benefit from a bit more of trying and not caring what anyone else might think. I’ve had my struggles with self doubt this past month, but (in another character flaw) I am relentless and stubborn.

I’ll let you know how this works out. It might be an epic failure–I’ll let you know. 🙂


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