What Failure Taught Me
It is the last day of Summer (by my counting, anyways). It is raining (How fitting). For me, it has been a wild ride personally and professionally. I was just journaling and reading a day by day book with bits from one of my favorite semi-modern writers, Madeline L'Engle. It suddenly hit me that this is life. It has taken this recent sojourn through misery, confusion, joy, ecstasy, surprise, shame, and hope to continue to make me who I am - the world what it is truly is.
In mid spring I was doing part time radio, barely paying bills, trying to write and do my Author Services business. Out of the blue, I was offered to do marketing for local Real Estate agent. Suddenly, money wasn't an issue... and for three bright months I learned a brand-new trade. I helped with deals, lined up appointments, helped people get homes. I saw both ugliness, professional jealousy, honest joy, and what money and influence carry with them under their cloaks. Then the reverie abruptly ended. i failed to pass my realty exam... twice. (by a lousy 4% points, I might add).
Stunned, heart-broken, bitter, I drifted. Finally, in the summer, I landed a gig with a local ABC/CBS affiliate as a photojournalist (camera guy. It's CAMERA GUY... - you know, if anyone ever tries to tell you otherwise...). If you saw my Instagram post yesterday, then you know that too ended. I'm just not prepared to dedicate the hours and brain space that job requires. Also, I constantly felt left-handed. Off-balance. A waste of time and space. Am I being hard on myself? Sure. However, from both experiences, I learned things about myself which I need to remember because they're immanently important to me.
Failure teaches us things we could never learn otherwise.
I learned what I really love. What I really want to pour myself into is my writing and Author Services. If you're writing and you wonder what's next - send me an email! Let's talk. Even if you don't want to drop any money, at the very least, I can give you some pointers and we can chat a bit about what you're up to. I learned how networks are essential to success. I learned to disclose everything. I learned there is more going on in sleepy small towns than I thought. There is a whole lot of care. A whole lot of small-town frumpery from "Important People" and even more care from the rest. I saw life first-hand and through a camera's lens.
I learned how what we think we know - what we swear about and are convinced of is only a tiny sliver of the whole. I learned that if we think are eyes are wide open, chances are they are only cracked. We are still dreaming, and would do well to continue to fight our sleep paralysis and fully awaken to the life which surrounds us.
What are we, How are we? Who are we? What really moves us? What haunts us? What electrifies us? - these are what we should strive towards.
On a happier note, in case you didn't hear, my next FANTASY EPIC, Nameless, is all edited up and was recently sent off towards my lovely agent, Patty Carothers of Metamorphosis Literary Agency, who in turn is sending my little story off to the Big Five (gods) of publishing in NYC as we speak (proverbially). If anything, what needs doing right now is as much social media exposure for me as possible. Could you please do me a favor and share this post, along with anything else you see from me starting now through the Fall? (Thank you!)
In addition, if you know or have any podcasts, I'd love to be a guest on them. I also love speaking events, Amazon reviews, follows, likes... you name it - just let me know you're alive! As much positive press as I can wrangle will help show the publishing world I'm for serious (Seriously). - I'll be sure to return the favors as I can!
Always and Best,
And, as per usual, all my books are available off my website and what not. I will also be re-releasing my short story, The Trombonist of Munst, as an illustrated edition and coloring book (!) on Black Friday. So be sure to snag a copy when that drops!
Also also, remember when I used to do #WriFri - where I featured other artists? I'd love to revive that again! If you or someone you know is a writer, painter, photographer, video-game designer, etc etc - have them reach out to me! It's easy, fun, and a little free PR for everyone! Got it? Awesome.