That’s what one of my vision partners said to me during our meeting this morning. I was bemoaning the string of rejections I got this week, wanting sympathy or to be let off the hook. “Yeah, Jane. Give up on trying to sell your memoir.” Right? In my imaginary brain, that interchange could happen.
Instead, I was told, “You’re doing everything right. Every action you’re taking counts, and you are taking serious actions. Just keep going.” It’s exactly what I would tell YOU. Thank goodness we have each other. I have a built-in forgetter that needs reminding when the going gets tough. When I’m hitting home runs, I can spout this advice 24/7. But I was the one who needed it on the receiving end today.
Meanwhile, I’m reading Hold Still, Sally Mann‘s exquisite memoir, which is also reinforcing Art and Fear which she just cited in a passage. It was so spot-on for my mood today that I hope by sharing it, you’ll be similarly uplifted, particularly if you’re DARING GREATLY as Brene Brown so eloquently calls it.
Art is seldom the result of true genius; rather, it is the product of hard work and skills learned and tenaciously practiced by regular people. In my case, I practice my skills despite repeated failures and self-doubt so profound it can masquerade outwardly as conceit. It’s not heroic in any way…I make bad picture after bad picture week after week until the relief comes: the good new picture that offers benediction.
I’m heading to Mexico early next week to attend the San Miguel Writers Conference. In addition to hearing keynotes from Judy Collins, Billy Collins, Mary Karr and Naomi Klein, I’m taking a class with the extraordinary Gail Sheehy and many more. I may even get to pitch an agent while I’m there.
I imagine that when I return home, I’ll read this post and think, Who was I? last week. If you have similar creative mood swings, please tell me I’m not crazy.