I just finished a book called, "The City of Dreaming Books" by Walter Moers today. I have to say, that book was amazing. I haven't so thoroughly enjoyed a book that much in a long time. The characters were well developed, the story was so original, and the plot was fast-paced and just plain good. Highly recommended.
I have recently started to work on illustrations for a children's book I am writing. So far, I am pleased with my sketches. I definitely need a lot more practice and work, but I'm having a good time with it. I find that drawing my characters and settings, even if the drawings aren't that good, actually helps me to write better.
Overall, the whole process has been a new, fun experience. I would encourage budding authors (like myself) to draw your characters, or even something specific like their favorite pair of shoes. No matter how good or bad of an artist you are, drawing helps. Especially when your stuck, or aren't particularly fond of where your story is headed. That's just my two cents.