Prolific Writing & Illustration

“You are a prolific writer and illustrator and have written or illustrated 37 children’s books. I happen to know that your goal is to illustrate and or write 50 books by the time you are 50. That is just a couple of years away. What’s your secret to getting so much done in such a short period of time? What does a typical day in the working life of Mark Wayne Adams look like?”   —Peggy DeKay, The Business of Writing Summit


We all choose how to pace our life. I find realistic goal setting is key for my success. Creating ongoing long and short-term goals helps me stay on point. Some goals are firm while others change. Either way they are written down. Once goals are on paper, they are real.

As an Illustrator, the speed at which I draw plays a huge part in my success. My childhood dream was to become an animator. I read how animators created hundreds of drawings in The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation. So, I did the same.

I now draw at an animator’s pace, however that speed isn’t required for an average children’s book illustrator. Drawing one picture a day, means I complete one picture book a month. After six years, I’ve illustrated almost forty picture books. I’ve inspired so many readers with only one thousand illustrations.

The author in me writes all the time. I use writing applications like NotesPages, and A Novel Idea on my iPhone and iPad.  I then export my inspired writings into a formal document once a week. Writing instantly is more effective for me than designating a time to write.

So, what is a typical workday? Normally my illustration workday is about six hours a day, five days a week, eight months a year. Most days I draw by my pool until the kids get home from school. Tough life, right. It can be because I’m a publisher, author, President Elect for FAPA (Florida Authors & Publishers Association), Readers’ Favorite Illustration Award judge, and public speaker. Wearing one hat at a time can be difficult.

Becoming a prolific writer and illustrator for me has included setting realistic goals, working consistently, and capturing my inspiration immediately.

— Mark Wayne Adams


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