See that? That is just about every journal and sketchbook I have ever had since I was 15. I am sure there are a few missing that are in some bin or box packed away. I would never in a million years throw them out. They contain every dream, every thought, every sorrow, every joy I have had for over 23 years now. If there was a fire? Yeah, after people and pets? These are what I am taking. These are a part of my soul. And while going back and rereading some of them is heart-breaking, and joyful and yes, downright CRINGE-FILLED, they are me. To the core.
I am a big believer in writing down what you want. What you need. What you want to see happen in your life. I believe it is how you signal to the universe* your greatest desires. And you begin the process of the universe helping you achieve your dreams. There is a quote I will look up, but to paraphrase it it something like, “Once you tell the universe what it is you want, the universe does everything in its power to conspire to help you.” Once I read that and got it? It began happening. Not necessarily in the time frame I would have liked, but in the time that it was necessary.
For instance, two years ago I got my agent. I was SURE this was it!!! Hot diggity dog my ship had come in!! I was making plans to quit my job and be writing and painting all day long! Hoo boy! And then the rejections came. And came. And came. And came. Um, you get the picture. I cried. I decided to quit many times. It is really hard to have someone tell you that your heart and soul poured out on paper is not what they are looking for, not what they want, and here is a real heart-ripper-outter – ‘not special enough’ – OUCH. Pardon me, I will be over here on the couch dying a slow and painful death from blood loss and lack of a heart.
But when I got my agent, I wrote this in a journal:
What? Can’t read my horrendous penmanship that Sister Sebastian** tried to beat out of me in Catholic school? It says:
Patience. I need to have more of it. I know with all of my heart that good things will happen. I will be quitting my job soon. I will be financially independent and will be able to pay all my bills by myself. My art makes me more money than I need.
Deborah Warren will get my book published. She will get me a great advance. Deborah Warren sold my books. (written 14 times. Ahem.)
Note the date, September 17 and 18, 2008. Over 2 years ago. This email came in September 9, 2010.
Hello awesome universe!!! Now, in those two years I got married, moved into a new house, turned a formal living room (does anyone use those REALLY??) into a studio, convinced my husband I need to go part time to work on my career and of course asked the universe a million and one times WHY WAS MY CAREER NOT HAPPENING?!?!?! I sent many an email to my agent after YET ANOTHER REJECTION if I should just throw in the towel and go learn something useful. Ya know, like accounting. So I could know how much money my art was NOT making me. : |
But a funny thing if you look back, right? Three weeks after I went part time, when I had the extra time, when I had the studio space, when I was ridiculously happy in my home life, when ideas were flowing like crazy, when I was making connections in the art and publishing world, when the universe conspired for years to make the timing just right….I got an offer on not one, but two books. That? Was a GOOD FREAKING DAY.
And they wanted them FAST. They wanted them ready by late summer to be on sale in fall 2011. So luckily I was part time and willing to work every weekend, every night, all through Thanksgiving and Christmas vacation in order to finish all the art. And I did. Because you do not get handed everything you ever wanted in the world and ask for more time to do it. You DO IT. When THEY want it. And I did.
Yeah, that’s right. It says not only will the books I just submitted be best sellers, but the book that hardly anyone even knows about will be one. I have submitted a new book to my publisher. I have submitted that book idea as an app idea to another company and told my husband I will need to quit my design job completely by May. Of this year. Because I will be so busy with another book and an app and licensing deals (another post for another day) that I will need to be in my office full time. He sighs. And says in that loving husband of a crazy artist type way, “We’ll see.” 😀
And so I will work my tookus off trying to make that happen. Because of course the secret to all of this is not making the wish and then sitting back waiting for it to happen. The universe will laugh in your face over that. You have to work. Hard. SO hard. Even when you are tired. Even when you doubt yourself. Even when you compare yourself to every other person that you think has it better than you and you may as well quit because you are just an untalented wanna be who doesn’t have an original idea in her head….Oh…woops. Too much sharing? 😉
The point is it takes a dream, LOTS if hard work, perseverance and a bit of luck. But it WILL happen for you. Promise. You can’t fail if you don’t quit. Even if you are not the best when you start something? If you don’t quit and you keep trying for 10 years? Think how much practice you will get in 10 years! Surely you will be awesome at whatever it is in 10 years of practicing??? Right? Right! Now put that clown makeup back on, get back on the unicycle and keep trying to get into Barnum and Baileys! No one is stopping you!!!
And just so you know my future dreams besides the New York Times Best Seller list, here is another one.
I want to live at the beach and have a studio on the top floor of a beach house. The three bedroom condos at The Purple Parrot in Perdido Key, Florida will be perfect. I even drew out my studio with the custom built drawing table I want, but I could not find where that sketch is. But I assure you. It is AWESOME. So I have told the universe to make it so. And I know it will.
And um, as long as we’re going for the gusto, meeting him would be awesome too, ok universe?
(What??? Shoot for the moon, right??)
*Universe: I do believe in God, I just am not very traditional about it. I will not get into religious beliefs or variations, but feel free to insert the word God everywhere I use universe. I mean no offense, it is just my particular view of the world.
**Sister Sabastian was actually my kindergarten teacher. And while I did witness corporal punishment in Catholic school, it was NOT used against me. And I loved Sister Sabastian. I even baked her a cake once. And wanted to name my son Sabastian. I still love that name and tried really hard to get my younger sister to name her new son Sabastian. I lost on both counts. I may need to get another pet and name him Sabastian. (just kidding husband. Maybe…I DO need a lap dog for book signings I think. What’s ten more pounds of dog in the midst of 300 lbs of current dog, right? heh.)