Welcome to A Children’s Poem a Day, my 50-day challenge to write (as you might have guessed) a children’s poem a day for 50 days.

The Rules:

  1. Write an original children’s poem every day for the next 50 days
  2. Post a poem by midnight (EST) on this blog every day for the next 50 days
  3. Poems can be in any format, style, and on any topic

The Challenge:

Besides the obvious challenge of not only writing something creative every day but actually publishing it, I have an additional challenge: I am due to have my first child in less than 2 months (45 days to go, according to my estimated delivery date)!  What will this mean to my creative process?  I have no idea, but I do know that creating is a priority of mine.  My hope is that I can keep this going despite the obvious changes that my life is about to undergo.

The End Goal:

My end goal (as I see it now) is to collect these poems, illustrate them, and publish a children’s poetry book.

The Inspiration:

Why did I decide to do this?  I have a few reasons:

  1. I really enjoy writing things for kids.
  2. I believe that writing makes you a better writer.
  3. I want to create free, fun content that parents, teachers, and others can use with children.
  4. I’m always up for a challenge!

My Background:

As an author: I have written over 50 children’s songs, a chapter book of 31,000+ words for 4th-5th graders called Adios, Cusco, I’m about halfway done with another chapter book for 8-10 year-olds entitled Friends, Enemies, and Something In Between, I just started a series of little-kid books about a character I call Samurai Sam, and now this poetry challenge.  Outside of the children’s arena, I also blog about prenatal exercise (see Expectercising).  Writing poetry is something I only started to do recently.  Songwriting, however, has been a joy and practice of mine for over 17 years.

As an educator: My teaching career started in 2001 when I began working at a learning center in NYC.  Since then, I have been supporting myself as a private tutor for students of all ages.  In Spring of 2011 I earned my M.Ed. from Antioch University.  My degree is in Elementary Education with a concentration in Arts and Humanities, and it was through this program and with the help of a truly inspiring teacher, Jane Miller, that I realized my passion for writing extended beyond writing songs.

As a musician: I have been singing pretty much since I could talk, though I have been told I started singing gibberish even earlier.  When I was 13 I picked up a guitar I found in a closet and taught myself how to play.  Since then, I have written over 600 songs that span multiple genres (check out www.jaymiegerard.com or look me up in iTunes to hear some).  My favorite aspect of songwriting has always been story-telling, and I think that my love for writing children’s stories and poems is simply an extension of that. 

As an artist: I have to admit that this one feels like the biggest challenge for me, despite the fact that that I have been drawing and painting for almost as long as I’ve been singing.  I hope to someday illustrate my own books, but for now, I’m concentrating on writing them!

As a prenatal exercise specialist:  I have been a regular exerciser for many years now and have continued to exercise throughout my pregnancy.  The problem I came across is that very few birth professionals had any real (as in scientifically proven) information about what is or isn’t safe to do when you are pregnant.  I began researching fiercely, and after learning enough to create guidelines for myself, I decided that I should help other pregnant women do the same.  Thus, Expectercising was born!

As a wife and future mother:  My husband, Geb Zurburg, is by far my biggest supporter.  Also a musician (singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist) and a teacher (high school social studies), he encourages my wide range of interests and insists that I follow my dreams.  Our son, Samuel, who will be here in a few short weeks has already inspired me tremendously.  I am sure that motherhood will certainly influence my work – we shall see!

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9 responses »

  1. Hi there!

    I recently came across your blog and have been thoroughly enjoying reading through it! I think it is such a unique and wonderful idea to write a poem a day, let alone blog it for everyone to enjoy! I realise you haven’t updated in a little while, and are probably busy with other things, but perhaps I could persuade you to give your blog a second life?

    I was wondering if you would be interested in sharing your blog on Glipho? Glipho is a new social blogging network that aims to promote the writing of its users and help build their audiences. We are trying to establish a creative community at Glipho, and could help your blog reach new readers and gain exposure.

    As your blog is powered by WordPress, you can simply import all your old posts to Glipho without affecting your existing blog at all. You can use your Glipho account to connect to any other major social network accounts you may own, so you can spread your blog as far as possible. We also use our own social media accounts to promote your content. One thing I should mention is that we have a minimum word count of 150 per post, purely to focus our writers on the creative content- which means that some of your poems may unfortunately slip through the net.

    If you’re interested check out our website at http://glipho.com and have a look around. Please feel free to ask me any questions, and if you would like to receive an invite to set up an account.

    Have a great day,

    Teo

    Glipho Limited
    14 Suite 3 D
    Docklands Business Centre
    10-16 Tiller Road
    London E14 8PX

    (e): teo@glipho.com
    (w): http://www.glipho.com

  2. Jaymie,
    I would like to ask permission to use your poem, “I Use My Words” in a social skills lesson plan where I will share it with my students. Certainly I would cite this blog and identify you as author.
    Thank you for considering this.
    Linda

  3. Fantastic work Jaymie! I am a performing arts teacher and children’s entertainer, and I would love to perform “I use my words” and “what makes a friend” with permission and credit reference to you in a live and online lesson. Would that be ok?
    Wishing you best of luck with the book!

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