This children's book was inspired by my 4 year old daughter, Maddie. She is more like her daddy than me. Maddie is observant, is an internal processor, thinks before speaking and loves alone time to recharge. She is an introvert, an "innie". I am an "outie". As an extroverted mom parenting a different temperament style than myself, I was stretched outside my comfort zone, so I wanted to better understand and learn how to best support her. I have experienced different temperament styles in the workplace and relationships, but as for parenting, it brought about an internal conflict of when to push or hold back.
I had to look at my own perception of introversion. My husband and some of my best friends are also introverts, so I thought I sort of understood, however there was much more to learn. As Marti Olsen Laney describes in The Introvert Advantage, the difference is a matter of energy usage. Extroverts use energy; introverts conserve energy. So how we refuel emotionally looks very different and there is a misconception that 'innies' aren't social. Social situations stimulate 'outies' while social situations deplete 'innies'. I had to learn when to approach a new situation with Maddie from an observational perspective; and hold back on my natural tendency to jump right in! This took intention on my part, to be fully engaged with all that was going on around us and within Maddie's heart and mind, like at swim lessons or at a party.
Many also confuse shyness with introversion. Shy is a behavior that both 'innies' and 'outies' may exhibit at times. Shy is behaving in a reserved, timid, nervous or insecure way. Introversion is one's character, disposition or personality and about how one looks inward to renew emotionally. So our behavior does not necessarily define our identity, just as hurting someone, does not necessarily make us a hurtful person.
There is a wealth of literature for adults, teens, parents, relationships and team-building on temperament, with even more current research on introversion for the younger age. But when I looked for children's books to affirm the quiet nature of our little ones, all I found were books on finding the courage to be brave and not be shy or the kid/character "coming out of his or her shell" which is not what I was looking for. I was looking for a book to encourage Maddie that being quiet, reserved, not having to be in the spotlight or even being shy for that matter, was OKAY! Why is it that our extrovert ideal world thinks everyone needs to speak up?
1 out of 3 people are introverts. Introverts are often stereotyped as socially awkward or shy, but are really full of extraordinary gifts and talents. Extroverts thrive and get energy from interactions with people and introverts tend to seek energy from within. 'Innies' process before taking action, they take in the big picture, they form deep relationships, they can play independently, and they form ideas outside the box.
My purpose is to help redefine introversion as a positive attribute by shining a light on its strengths. Introversion and extroversion are hard-wired. We cannot change our hard-wiring, however we can develop new ways of responding to the world around us.
My mission is to share our story of honoring quiet personalities, how it affects our family dynamic, how it can affect classroom settings and how young children can be taught to embrace their unique learning styles and ways of interacting in this world. By honoring each of our identities, we can create nurturing environments where we all thrive.
Quigley's character represents Maddie's real-life experiences. So here's the first release (in hopefully, a series of books) about Quiet Quigley's experiences in an extroverted world.
This 36-page full-color hardcover book (8x8") will feature hand-painted illustrations by Bonnie Wiegand and coated art papers throughout. I would prefer to use offset printing rather than print-on-demand, so that's where you come in! Offset printing requires more investment up front prior to printing so it can print in large volumes of high quality. Suggested retail price is $14.95 USD.
The back page will feature "Tips for Parents, Educators and Peers" using current research including quotes from Quiet and Quiet Power by Susan Cain and Quiet Kids by Christine Fonseca (copyright approvals pending).
Meet the Illustrator, Bonnie Wiegand
Kickstarter funds will serve as a pre-sale of books so we can complete publication and go to print. I need your help in kick starting my initial investment and increase funding to move forward with my first release of 2,000 hardcover books. 100% of Kickstarter funds will go to the Illustrator, Kickstarter fees and publication (layout, licensing, editing, and printing).
- $7,500 // Donate 100 Quigley the Quiet Hedgehog books to schools, parent resource organizations (like MOPS, SAGE) and child therapists
- $10,000 // Design and publish Quiet Quigley coloring books with inspiring quotes
- $15,000 // Finish writing and begin illustration of the next book in the series: Quigley Goes to Swim Lessons, Quigley Goes to a Birthday Party, Quigley Goes to Camp or Quigley Goes to School
Risks and challenges
I am not a published author (yet!) so it's risky putting myself out there to write and publish a book where I am not an expert, but a parent who has experienced the transformation in myself and parenting a self-confident 'innie'. I passionately believe in getting this message out to children at a very early age.
There is some financial risk, though not significant with the hope of this Kickstarter campaign being a success. And there is the risk that I will have 1,000 books sitting in our garage and the other 1,000 books sitting at a warehouse :). This is not a career venture for me, rather a passion project that I hope to break-even on and more importantly, inspire!
My challenge will be the holidays fast approaching and keeping things moving along with production and printing, however the art is ready to go and just waiting to take the leap!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)