Project Cielo: Man Writing 365 Children’s Books in 365 Days #Inspiration

Photo by JillWellington on Pixabay

Hi fellow writers! How are your WIPs going?

I saw this inspiring story today from The New York Times that I wanted to share.

The story is about Matt Zurbo from Tasmania, who works at an oyster farm during the day, and after a long day’s worth of work, he relaxes by writing his 20-month-old daughter, Cielo, a children’s book.

His project to write 365 children’s books, one per day for an entire year is named, Cielo, in honor of his youngest daughter. Zurbo never got a college degree, his background is in wilderness forestry, and can be considered more an adventurer rather than a writer. This is what inspires me with my recent hikes and adventures. Like me, however, he can’t turn the stories (or poetry in my case) “off” in his mind, so he writes.

Is that how you feel? Do you have an insatiable urge to write with your free time?

Now, Zurbo is a published writer. He has published four novels, an oral history of Australian-rules football and eight children’s books, but he has also spent the past 30 years clearing trails and replanting forests in the Australian bush.

The children’s books he is writing are meant to be a gift to Cielo, and are free to read on the project’s WordPress site: CIELO 365 Stories.

But like every writer, he admits it would be nice if a publisher picked one or two of his children’s books to publish to supplement his family’s income. But if that never happens, he is content. He writes because he loves to write and he loves to tell stories.

Today’s story: The Landscape Artist is about using your imagination to “paint” pictures in people’s minds.

In the New York Times article, Zurbo is quoted as saying:

“The more kids love stories and love books, the better the world will be for my daughter. Imagination trumps violence and ignorance, and always will.”

Surprisingly, he credits his lifestyle and the pursuits he follows to his family circumstances and how they shaped his own life:

“My mum and dad split up when I was 2. So what? Mostly, they cut me loose, which was great for my imagination. I was free to roam.”

He summarized his approach to life with his wife, Elena, whom he met three years ago in a Logger’s bar in Venezuela. She was recently divorced, fleeing a job as a architect in Caracas, trying her hand at interior design and working on a novel of her own. Love was the last thing on his mind. Yet, despite all odds, they found each other, fell in love, got married and had Cielo, which means “heaven” in Spanish.

“We’re jumping from rock to rock, just trying to get across the stream.”

I love that. Don’t look too far ahead. Don’t assume your life will look like something next year, in five years, or beyond. What’s the next rock you need to jump on to move forward? Once you see it, take the leap!

The original article was written by Damien Cave and published by The New York Times. It can be viewed here:


  1. Oh my goodness, Jason. I needed to read this today. πŸ™‚ It’s so nice hearing stories of hope to keep the light well lit inside. πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing this lovely one. xx

    Liked by 1 person

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