I often spend hours, days and sometimes months searching for the perfect word.
When you write poetry and picture books, every word counts. And the quest for the perfect word becomes a roller coaster of ups and downs, twists and spills until one word socks you in the stomach, simultaneously exhilarates and scares as you're jerked into the final turn and giddily exit the page . You read and reread, out loud, the sentence, paragraph, page, manuscript until you know in your writer's heart that you can move your reader to feel, see, touch, smell, taste, experience, live and recreate your story in their imagination.
Once you write something down and give it to your reader, the words are no longer yours but a shared experience of your black and white and their color. You can't sit on their shoulder and explain the feelings they're suppose to experience or cue a laugh track, so picking the perfect words, the words that evoke the images you want to create in their minds, is how you make your words feel.