Last night I got to go to my first meeting with a critique group for SCBWI. I just joined in April. The irony that I had to GET a full time job in order to finally pursue my dreams is not lost on me. It is pretty funny actually. But when you freelance, you take any job that pays that comes along. And that unfortunately means that the things you WANT to do, not NEED to do get put on the back burner. Now that I don’t stress all day long about money and actually have some in the bank and know that more is on the way, I can work on my own art. And as crazy as it is, I have been doing just that. I have two agents interested in one of my children’s picture books. Sure, they might see it and reject it, but still they asked to see it. By the way, I have to say, the sting of rejection gets less and less. And actually I got such a nice rejection a little while back that I think they get NICER too. The critique group seemed to like my work a lot and that was very encouraging. I am still waiting on one agent and mailing out a packet today to another. Today I am meeting with a lawyer about a contract for something that I can’t mention yet, but if we can manage to work out all the legalities will keep me VERY busy for a while. But it will be so much fun so I cannot wait to get at it.
For the first time in such a long time I feel like I am actually living my life instead of playing the “if only” game. You know, the one that goes, “If only I could have some free time to do my own art I’d be happy.” “If only I could find an agent, I’d be happy.” “If only I could be published, I’d be happy.”*** And so on and so on. I am enjoying the process. I am happy right NOW. Rejections or not. I am even enjoying the time lag that it takes in this business. Nothing, NOTHING happens fast in publishing or manufacturing. Honestly, I admit it is easier because I don’t have to worry about money anymore. I am the first to admit that I am shocked at how happy having this job makes me. I know I’ve said this before, but if you had told me that I would happy, happy, HAPPY to go to work at an office everyday for 8 hours, I would have thought you had drank the Kool Aid. I had this idea in my head that a full time job meant failure. It meant I had given up, that I had not ‘made it” and that my dreams were over. Funny how the exact opposite has happened. I love that my nights and weekends are mine to focus on my work or to do nothing at all. My dreams are more alive and more in progress than ever before. And that is pretty sweet.
Again, I have said this all before I am sure, so I will stop now, but I am still in awe of how when we let go of trying to control HOW it happens, and let it just be, things work out somehow. Trusting and believing is a powerful thing, even if it is so very hard to do. Ok, enough! Besides, I need to show you my Friday picture! With flip flops!! I am looking forward to an evening of sitting out on the deck with the dogs enjoying the amazing Georgia weather with Best Boyfriend Ever and maybe a dirty martini to sip on. Too lovely to be inside for sure!
***This awesome wisdom was first said by Nathan.