I spoke on a panel discussion yesterday at the BEA. I had a good time. There was one thing that I said that definitely got a reaction I think. I said that I could write a picture book in about 5 min and could never do that with a nonfiction book because of the research. Then I heard a lot of shocked people in the audience. Then I added to that "I mean a rough draft." As usual, I never explain myself well. There's way more to it than that. Here's the thing: to do a picture book and do it WELL you need YEARS AND YEARS of PRACTICE. I think once you get to a certain level you can, in a way, write a rough draft on the subway if you wish. Now I'm just talking the rough, rough draft. I'm talking story arch, the basic premise, and so on--what comes out of your head initially. Some of the best stories may happen that way! But with nonfiction this isn't so. You can't do that because you have to go read a few nonfiction books on the subject first to get a feel for your subject. It's not so spontaneous. I wish it were.
I hope I've clarified my thoughts a bit. I wasn't saying anything to be arrogant or saying anything to bash one genre over another. They're just very different!