By Linda Swingle
For a few creative individuals working to establish a career as an Author-Illustrator, the new path presents a few hurdles that test the depths of commitment, degree of tenacity and belief in talent and abilities. We hit the path running in pursuit of that dream fueled by hope and faith supported with belief. We envision the day a publisher places our name on their list of favored Author-Illustrators or as one of their ‘go-to-artists’ to illustrate a new book series.
However: over a period of time, life happens as we view the mountain of tasks and responsibilities mounting in that path. The accumulation of important details associated with writing and illustrating may overtax creative abilities. The inner chatter begins, which in turn, strikes at the heart of self-confidence, which then, affects inner drive. Before one knows it, that dream turns into a nightmare and in the end; one may ask self if the pursuit is realistic…if the dream and vision is realistic. Then it begins: distractions occupy avenues of focus and waking hours are ill spent versus well spent. Time ill spent each day in a given week may possibly equate to an eight hour work day lost by the end of the week!
Realistically, allowing distractions to occupy one’s time is merely a coping mechanism that prevents one from tackling challenges head-on. The cycle is vicious. It is easy to reason that a quick trip to the grocery store is necessary before tackling a day filled with writing and illustrating. The trip to the grocery store will take but a few minutes and while out, justify the need to purchase a few items in another grocery store because the first grocery store did not have a particular item…etcetera, etcetera. Later that evening, self-inflicted inner chatter riddled with chastisement reminds one how an entire day slipped away without dedicating a bit of time to writing or illustrating!
Hours of neglect equate to days: those days equate to weeks and suddenly, the dream is placed on the back burner. Eventually, the inner chatter may convenience one that the pursuit was nothing more than a pipe-dream from the start. The negative inner chatter does not end there: it continues justifying that the ‘nearly-finished’ manuscript and nearly finished illustrations are not that great after all. Procrastination combined with negative inner chatter devalues talent, abilities, work and effort put forth to that point. In the end, chatter wins out and the artist loses out of possibly enjoying a career filled with rewards. Do not allow distractions to usher in opportunities riddled with negative chatter which in turn leads to more distractions and eventually abandonment of a wonderful and purposeful dream!
R.I.P NEGATIVE CHATTER….R.I.P SELF-DOUBT! Good-bye and good riddance and by all means, do allow the door to properly hit thy insidious booty on the way out!
BEGIN or START AGAIN by committing to the following:
- Saying “No!” and eliminating distractions
- Create a plan and commit to the plan
- Create a dream board that ignites inspiration and motivation
- Appreciate and value inspiration received
- Follow through with inspiration received
- Set a deadline and commit to a set deadline
- Create the first draft
- Carefully proof read and edit the first draft
- Create rough illustrations
- Create a book dummy
- Dedicate time for research: knowledge squashes self-doubt EVERYTIME
- Generate a query letter: review the query from a logical approach: eliminate emotions
- Submit to agents
Lastly, Be KIND, RESPECTFUL and APPRECIATIVE of SELF followed by a good dose of GRATITUDE!
Linda Swingle has enjoyed a lucrative career working as a Professional Artist. Her murals, handmade wall-coverings and custom artwork span the globe. She now turns her creativity to writing and illustrating humorous Children’s picture books. Living in Southern California with darling husband Scott and their devoted rescued canine, Tieshka, Linda dedicates her time pursuing her newly chosen career. Connect with Linda on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram & Facebook.