I beg to ... uhm add in.
The only way to do great work is to love what you do, and to make it happen.
Most of you who visit my humble blog are fellow authors, artists, bloggers (and one very special vintage bookseller ~ *wave wave). Perhaps you are striving hard every day to bring your stories to life. Perhaps you're able to enjoy a comfortable-enough life through your work. Perhaps you are struggling to make ends meet. Perhaps you've lost the passion for your work. Perhaps you still hold the dream of writing/illustrating/publishing very dearly to your heart and cannot bear to waken to the reality that you aren't earning enough to sustain.
I've been in that last category for ... some time. Too long, really. I kept telling myself to keep going, that one day things would happen. (I can be good at motivating myself, sometimes even at the risk of dwelling in denial of Reality.)
Few months ago, I confessed in my journal that I've hit rock bottom. Kept waiting for the tide to turn, but it didn't.
And I asked myself:
Do you still want to carry on?
In the past, it would've taken me less than a second to pip yes, and carried on.
This time, I took longer. A full minute. I feel like I've let my parents down because I haven't been providing enough for them. I feel like I could do so much more but ... why the hell am I not? I don't know. What if that tide never turns?
Loving what you do is not cutting it anymore.
And so ... maybe ... sigh.
I don't want to just give up. I still want it. Very much.
Then, my goodness, you'll have to make some changes. Adjust your sails, move in a slightly different direction but stay within the route. Be smarter, not blind.
My dear fellow-writers/artists, if you've been like me, loving what we do is not cutting it anymore because we also need to make it happen.
I've been trying.
I've been producing work and sending them out. Not to publishers but to places where my works or services can be used.
I've been receiving no-news and rejections. It's okay. Part of the game. I get it. No hurt feelings.
And good news, after a while, trickle in. They include these:
Sold a book cover art two weeks ago. Currently working on two picture book projects for clients, and I just spent the past two days drawing and colouring anchor charts for another client's classroom. My naturally straight hair is now a little frizzy because of the work and a fair amount of stress. I looked in the mirror yesterday (aha, yes, I did have time for that) and told myself to take a moment: Was I enjoying my work?
Yes. Oh my God, yes.
Guess what? I do make a small living from writing and illustrating now.
I know enough not to take this for granted and I need to (here it comes again) keep going. I haven't 'made it' yet but I'm making it happen every day.
The weather is fair. Light showers earlier but still okay. My sails can be adjusted whenever necessary, and I'm on a journey I decided on. Grateful. Really grateful. And hopeful, for myself and for you, my friends who might be in your own challenging waters. I learn that some of you are embarking on new journeys as well and I am truly inspired.
A smooth & happy voyage, everyone.
Enjoy your weekends!
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Hey, I'm Claudine. Welcome!
Want to know what children's stories can inspire & lead to?
by Kate Hanney
Really enjoyed the honest voice of this narrator ~ a teenager let down by his mother and the foster care system, and almost-picked up through his involvement with a gang.