Friday, June 29, 2012

Eat That Frog: Why We Wait for What We Want

Say WHAT?! Eat that frog? What's up with that? Well, I'll tell you. But first, today's post is about a celebration (or lamentation) of Julie Hedlund's 12x12 Challenge. If you've never heard of it, it's a picture book writing challenge. Write 12 picture book manuscripts in 12 months. Rough drafts, not polished. Totally doable. A lofty goal? Yes, but totally doable.

My progress? I did not make the cut of getting 6 mss; I wrote 2. TWO! That's it. I am happy with them as a ms. I am happy that I got them written. It is still progress, though it doesn't feel like much.

12x12 in 2012: Halfway Celebration
Watch a video.
So back to the frog. The best way to quit procrastinating is to label your most difficult and/or most rewarding task as your frog. The saying goes that if you must eat a frog every day that you should eat it first thing in the morning.

Why do we tend to put things off that we really want to do? The book doesn't specifically go into answers for this question I am posing, so I am kind of speculating as to the answer. (If anyone else has any answers for the question, I'd love to hear them below.) I believe the main reason is FEAR. And not necessarily fear of failure either. Or fear of success. I think we put things off that we want to do because we fear it will take too long or be too difficult. Or fear of your own passion because once you get started, you may not be able to tear yourself away to tend to the daily necessities of life.

If you didn't get your 6 mss in the past 6 months, which fear reason do you think is yours to own? Or is it some other reason?

  1. not enough time (too busy)
  2. choosing to spend time on another passion
  3. lack of commitment
  4. fear of failure
  5. fear of success
  6. fear of the challenge (too difficult)
  7. fear of time constraints (not being able to complete the task at hand within your daily time parameters)
  8. fear of your own passion
Mine is 2, 6, 7, and 8. What about you? CONGRATS TO ALL OF YOU WHO MADE THE 6 IN 6!

Keep on keepin' on...


  1. Ohhhhh you have HIT quite a few of my reasons for not accomplishing dreams! FEAR is such a paralyzing roadblock. I am here to say CONGRATS on the work you have done and will continue to do through the 12x12in2012 Picture Book Challenge. Keep writing!

  2. Fear of your own passion....that's profound, Christie! Even from this blog it is clear as day that you are passionate about picture books. They are in your blood! 2 or 6 or a billion manuscripts, it doesn't matter!

  3. Mines is a big fat #1, but I managed to squeeze in time at halftime during soccer games, between innings at baseball games, during my lunch break at work, during the wee hours of the night when my boys are in get the picture. :o) Congrats on your 2 manuscripts! That is still something to celebrate.

  4. Mine is four and five. I spent all last summer avoiding writing but not now. I promised myself this year I would live my dream. Congrats on completing 2 stories and I hope you write many more in the coming months!

  5. No matter how large or small the manuscript count, every draft written is a book that would not have had existence without its writer. So CELEBRATE that you brought two manuscripts into the world that would not have had being without you!

    "Eat That Frog!" is such a fantastic book. I'm glad you highlighted it today.

    Happy Half-way There! Here's to more manuscripts a-borning in the next half!

  6. GREAT post! Mine is #2 and #4. I can honestly say I'm not afraid of success. I'm afraid I'll never REACH success.

    And by the way, 2 manuscripts written is 2 more than none, so congratulations!

  7. I am #1 and #4 like Julie. Great post, Christie, and you could so easily have not posted to celebrate your two, so that's awesome. Yay for your 2, I say!

  8. Hi Christie, Good luck to you too! Happy Half Way There! Keep it rolling...

  9. Well done on getting 2 mss written :) Great post, this is why I signed up for the challenge, to give me a great big kick up the butt to get things done.

  10. Great! I'm actually eating that frog TONIGHT...the last two hours, working on my PB draft for June, so I can say I did it by 11 pm EST.
    As usual, at the last hour. But I think I'll get a coke float first, it helps me think.

  11. Don't feel too bad. I didn't write ANY! I'm not even sure what the reason is. I had a couple of ideas that I thought were decent, but I just wasn't able to get them off the ground.

  12. Christie,

    Don't feel too managed to complete two and there are some out there who never even got that far. What's important is that you are writing and continuing to grow...

    Here's to the next six months!

    Donna L Martin

  13. I think you have to look at the two you did write...yea! Two! Keep writing!

  14. Love your post! As a creativity coach, the topic of fear comes up over and over as I partner with writers and other artists. But look at you! You persevered, and you have more manuscripts than you did before. ; ) And that, my dear, is an accomplishment!

  15. Mine is 1,2 4, 6 and 7. lol! Happy Halfway! :)

  16. I will own #1, but would have to moderate or add a #11: letting interruptions get the better of me! Wholehearted congrats at the halfway mark!

  17. Quite a few of those hit home with me. Fear is a big stumbling block. And something we just have to roll our sleeves up and face. Yep!

  18. Fear is a big hinderance in many areas of life. Good luck with the next 6 months and remember, two is better than none!

  19. Christie, I think if you write anything that is an accomplishment. I agree with you when you said: Or fear of your own passion because once you get started, you may not be able to tear yourself away to tend to the daily necessities of life.
    I have to admit, though, fear in a variety of flavours have held me back but I'm working at breaking free. One layer at a time.

  20. Thank you all for chiming in. It was very interesting to see where we all rate ourselves. Yes, two IS better than none. I do like the idea of writing one new manuscript a month. Now if I could only do that AND revise let's say, two? mss a month, then THAT would be way AWESOME! I'll get there...

  21. Thank you SOOOO much for listing the top reasons for not moving forward...I love the concept of "eat the frog" and had read about it last year! In my past life :) before I buckled down and got back to picture book writing, I often put off doing what I didn't like to do until the last...or until it was too late to actually do it! Now I try to do what I don't like to do first thing in the morning...for me, picture book writing is what I love to do, so I have to make that wait till later in the day. But the marketing and that's what I need to tackle first, if it is ever going to get done. :)

    Congratulations on your accomplishments for the first half of the year! Best of luck and happy writing for the second half,'s been wonderful to connect with you via 12x12!

  22. Congrats on your work in 2012. I often fall into No. 2. So much to do and explore and so little time.

  23. Great post and congrats on your two mss.


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