Thursday, May 03, 2007
I am doing what I told myself I would never do- lamenting over a "rejection." Having been waiting over a month and a half for a publisher to decide on a picture book manuscript/illustration package- where if they bought it-I would of then did all the illustrations. Idea was just sketched out at this point-I started to get "cocky"
Well as the weeks went by and I received personal notes from the publisher along the way- somewhere in my head, I must of decided I got it- because my thoughts went to book tours and awards- I thought my ship had come in, that I had drawn the "Treasure Chest Card" that lets you go around the whole Monopoly board, with a get out of jail free card and hands you your two hundred dollars- I thought I had just been waved to the front of the line- of want-to-be published writers and illustrators. I thought finally my money will be where my mouth is! That this "what if" and "someday" would be now- I would be paid for what I love to do- I could stop feeling silly when some one asked me what I do- so much more easy to just say- I am an author/illustrator, instead of a want-to-be.
Well when the email came last night- My "Treasure Chest Card" was replaced with a "Go Directly to Jail Card", My ship was sunk and I would have to continue to give a "round about" answer to the question- what do you do? And I could see myself-almost at the front of the line- being directed by a big burly bouncer to walk back to my allotted place at the back of the line- which is fine- I really knew in my gut this was to easy- to get something that big now- in fact fear gripped me wondering if I was ready to produce 32 illustrations in six months- I have a lot of other stuff in the mix and will develop the story at some point because it is a good story and to confess I want the publisher who rejected it to have a "I could of had a V8" moment when he sees it the "Caldacott" book of the year.
What really scares me- terrifies me- is not "Can I write-can I illustrate", I know I have the skill, the tool, I know composition and story structure- what really scares me is "What if I am in the wrong line?" Like the running joke of standing for hours in the farm machinery line at the DMV- only to find out when you get to the window- What if my ideas, my stories are so "odd" and "strange" that they will never ring true with the general public. What if I think so differently- that there is no audience for what I have to say. Someone once said "It is better to keep ones mouth shut and be thought a fool, then to open it and remove all doubts"
So here I sit- in the back of the line again, wondering what to do.
I will always write and illustrate, it is like breathing to me, my head would burst if I didn't. I know God gave me a gift and I will hone it and use it. But he also wants to teach me something through it and that is the hard part- Nothing comes easy, never has and if it did- would it be worth having-
But this morning, I just wonder how long the line really is for me- and hope and pray that when I finally get to the front of it- someone will ask me to autograph my book instead of what piece of farm machinery would I like registered.