I did a brave scary exhilarating thing yesterday. I sent a detailed book proposal to a literary agent in New York. It’s taken me at least 4-5 missed self-imposed deadlines, a year to meet with an expert editing friend to get me to twelve sample chapters and one chaotically messy living room where there is art and paper and more art on every inch of the floor for easy viewing. What goes where, what stack belong to which and on it goes. I had all of the individual pieces ready for months; the chapters, the art, the sample cards, postcards and catalogues from my company. The fabulous box I had to have to put the whole thing in! (Priorities!) It was the assembling of the pieces, the bigness of the project, that put me in Tomorrow Overwhelm.
I’ll do it tomorrow. It’s Sunday, I’ve got nothing planned. Tomorrow. It’s Monday. The printer is open in case I need to run down there. Tomorrow, it’s Thursday, I’m always productive on Thursdays. Really? I am? Tomorrow starts today. Please don’t’ mistake me for someone who can follow my own advice for overcoming procrastination. I’m a work in progress. I do know though, that I’ve made strides. There are tools. It’s not willpower. It’s action and accountability and telling your most productive organized friend your plan to start (and finish) and knowing you’ll have to face said friend the next day and you’re no longer in the mood to wiggle out of the why it’s still sitting on your coffee table excuse. It was hailing! In April! The cat was moody. I had no groceries, had to run to Trader Joe’s. I got a phone call. I had to ship an order. I’ve been traveling, I have to unpack. (Your excuses are probably much more exciting and elaborate, mine are that boring and embarrassing that I have not been able to push through this block.)
So, I did it. I’ll save the details of the proposal, the agent, the why I did this the way I did it for a later post because today, after lovingly packaging up all the pieces for this person i have never met on the other side of the county, I know that it was the doing it that mattered. I have no control of the outcome. I can’t be pre-disappointed that it’s a long shot. Because it is. It’s a long shot. But if this doesn’t work, I’m not the right fit, I know I can do this again. I broke through some invisible self-imposed barrier that New York agents and publishing world are “out there” and I am “here” and the two can’t quite meet their fingers a la Sistine Chapel. But they can. They do all the time. I see it, I read it.
And what do boats on the bay have to do with this brave scary exhilarating thing I did yesterday? Not much. But I like this painting, took risks with it that are new for me (sensing a theme here!) and it took me outside my comfort zone. So maybe it has everything to do with my scary thing. I’ve written about this a lot but bears repeating, mostly for myself, this painting would not have happened unless I had done hundreds before it. Writing, running, cooking, sending proposals to literary agents. It’s no different. Practice. Show up. Rinse repeat. Hit send. Write the letter. Put a stamp on it. Buy a box. Go to Fedex. xo
“Boats on the Bay” 16×20″ SOLD