In this week's newsletter: Time management, The Creativity Project, NaNoWriMo comics.
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Happy November!

Yes, it's been a while, and I humbly apologize for not keeping in touch. I think I started this particular issue of my newsletter a dozen times over the past year but never finished.

Way back when I began the newsletter, I promised you all that I'd include some tips how to better manage your time to carve out more creative space. Ironically, I had to put my newsletter on hold so I could figure out how to better manage my time! Happily, I'm back in a good place again.

A few things I've learned that might help some of you as well:

- To purposely schedule in regular time for creative play, no matter how busy work gets, otherwise my work starts losing the joy. 

- To be better about saying no, even if it sometimes means disappointing people.

- To be cautious about letting the number of Likes or positive comments (or the opposite: lack of Likes or negative comments) about certain pieces I post online have too much of an influence on my creative direction. People will always like my happier, "cuter" art -- and that's fine, because I like doing happy, cute art. But I also have always been drawn to the dark and creepy/creepycute, so need to embrace that part of me as well.

I'm going to aim to put out this newsletter more regularly from now on. It will have updates about my work and upcoming projects, yes, but my goal is to also always include some content that will inform and entertain as well.

There's so much news and fun art and resources I've discovered or created since the last newsletter but rather than overwhelm you all in this issue (plus trying to do that is one of the reasons I've failed to send out this issue so many times before), I'll catch up gradually.

Meanwhile...have a great weekend, all!

For those of you on Facebook and are mainly interested in my posts about reading, writing and illustrating books for young people as well as my found object doodles and sketches: I encourage you to follow my Author/Illustrator Page instead of my personal FB page, thanks. I'm changing my personal FB acct for connecting mainly with family and closer personal friends.

I promise that my Author/Illustrator Page will NOT be all-promo (I wouldn't follow that kind of FB Page, either)! I'll be doing comic caption challenges, doodling, giveaways, posting about books I'm enjoying, comics about reading/writing/illustrating children's books and more.
I'm delighted to be one of the contributors to Colby Sharp's first published book, The Creativity Project, which is coming out from Little, Brown Books For Young Readers in 2018. You can find more info about the project in this Publishers Weekly article from earlier this month and Travis Jonker's post in School Library Journal. Colby approached 43 children's book authors and illustrators representing a wide range of genres and from diverse backgrounds. Each of us was asked to provide two writing prompts, and these were given to another contributor to help them get started after selecting one of the two prompts. Having a LOT of fun so far! Here's the mysterious package that came in the mail for me after I mailed in my own prompts:

List of contributorsSherman Alexie, Tom Angleberger, Jessixa Bagley, Tracey Baptiste, Sophie Blackall, Lisa Brown, Peter Brown, Lauren Castillo, Kate DiCamillo, Margarita Engle, Deborah Freedman, Adam Gidwitz, Chris Grabenstein, Jennifer L. Holm, Victoria Jamieson, Travis Jonker, Jess Keating, Laurie Keller, Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Kirby Larson , Minh Lê, Grace Lin, Kate Messner, Daniel Nayeri, Naomi Shihab Nye, Debbie Ridpath Ohi, R.J. Palacio, Linda Sue Park, Dav Pilkey , Andrea Davis Pinkney, Jewell Parker Rhodes, Dan Santat, Gary Schmidt, John Schu, Colby Sharp, Bob Shea, Liesl Shurtliff, Lemony Snicket, Laurel Snyder, Javaka Steptoe, Mariko Tamaki, Linda Urban, Frank Viva , Kat Yeh.

Whoa. Looking at the list of the other contributors above, I am even MORE excited! And a wee bit intimidated. :-)

You can follow posts about the project by searching for this hashtag: #TheCreativityProject.

To those of you doing NaNoWriMo: good luck! 

And don't forget to visit my friend Errol Elumir's NaNoToons page for more NaNoWriMo comics!

Launching in 2017: Sea Monkey & Bob (Simon & Schuster, Apr.25), Mitzi Tulane, Preschool Detective in The Secret Ingredient (Random House, July 11), Ruby Rose, Big Bravos (HarperCollins, August 9) and Sam & Eva (Debbie's 2nd solo picture book launches from Simon & Schuster BFYR on Oct. 17).
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See my FAQ for basic advice for aspiring writers and illustrators, promo and career inquiries. To contact me, please use this form, thanks.
Copyright © 2016 Debbie Ridpath Ohi, All rights reserved.

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