An agent once told me that the chance of being an author/illustrator is as good as a camel entering heaven through the eye of a needle. I didn't let that slow me down. I'm pretty much invincible! Or at least stubborn. But dividing my time between writing and illustrating has slowed me down.
In the past, I've just followed my muse. If I felt like drawing, I drew. If I felt like writing, I wrote. However, when I was writing, I missed drawing and when I was drawing, I missed writing. So my new plan is to split the week. Drawing three days one week, then writing the other two. (I try to save the weekend for my hubby!) Then the next week I switch writing three days, drawing two.
Like a great number of picture book writers, I participated in Tara Lazar's StoryStorm in January. (I have been a member since it was PiBoIdMo.) It garnered me a huge list of picture book ideas to flesh out during the year. Of course, some of the ideas really stink but others are gems. One of the prompts was to look at pictures that make your heart beat fast and come up with a story that matches it. Right up my visual learners alley! I mined my Pinterest page, https://www.pinterest.com/mattylou/, where I collect illustrations that I LOVE under many different boards, such as: Illustrated Kiddos, In a Chair, In the Snow, Illustrated Adults, etc.
So my tip of the day for those of you who write and illustrate is to participate in Tara's program next January, or if you're ready, jump over to her website and review the prompts. I assure you, you'll be impressed. Here's the link to the blog: https://taralazar.com/2019/01/31/storystorm-pledge/#comment-234846 .
Thank you Tara for the inspiration!