I said I’d rather win the Newbery because it’s a writing award. T. couldn’t decide which he’d rather win, but he said to me that I should want to win the Caldecott because I already write well and if I could win the Caldecott it would mean I had also learned to draw well. Sometimes he says the nicest things!
He also talked with me about the essay he’s working on for class. His thesis is that drawing helps with writing and he uses his own work on his fantasy book as an example. I haven’t read the essay, but I have observed his writing process and I would agree that drawing does help him along, particularly with character development. Once he has the villain properly drawn and armed and accessorized, he then feels able to describe him (they’re all male at this point) in lovingly gory detail.
Based on my experience this week, I’d say that drawing helps my writing process, too, but in a different way. In order to draw at all, I have to bind and gag my critical self. I have to tune out the distractions around me in the room, but especially in my brain, so I can perceive what I’m drawing well enough to execute some kind of copy of it. It brings me to a childlike place, a place where there was no guilt involved in coloring for hours, using up sheet after sheet of paper.
And once that kid in me is awake, I find that I can write much more easily. So by playing as if I could ever win the Caldecott, I might help myself toward winning a Newbery some day. If not, at least I get to have fun and I have a smart kid who is writing a perceptive essay to talk with.