I'd like to start this off by thanking everyone who participated in the Epic Indie Fair, whether you shopped, left a comment, or created something incredible for me to feature. Because I appreciate you so much, I've decided to give you a present.
Starting today, I'm offering the first part of my e-book, Run Screaming, for free! And how do you claim this present? Do you have to download a PDF? Send me an email? Dress up as a flamingo and sing Opera in the street? No, no, and no again. Just scroll down and start reading. It's as easy as pie.
When to Give Up and When to Stay Put.
A guide for creative people.
Trying to succeed as a creative person is hard. Really hard.
As a creative person, you'll hear no a lot – from galleries, from agents, from judges of contests, from potential clients. Sometimes you'll get no response at all, which can seem worse than a rejection and leave you feeling invisible.
And even when you're not being rejected by other people, sometimes you'll reject yourself. You'll second guess your instincts, your work, your talent, and even your identity as an artist. You'll wonder... do you have any business trying to call what you do art? Or is it just Crazy Crap With Paint And Glitter? And that wondering will do more damage than all your outside rejections combined.
So maybe it's hard is an understatement. Maybe it's better to say that succeeding as a creative person can be harder than teaching a flamingo to play the accordion – since the flamingo will mistake the accordion for a trampoline and immediately start jumping on it.
(No, really! I read it on Wikipedia. Or something.)
While my position on giving up is pretty clear at this point – that you shouldn't let these things get in your way – I get it. I really do. In fact, I was recently the closest I'd ever been to giving up on my Big Crazy Dreams, and that was in spite of all my coping skills!
Here's what happened to me...
Sarah's Big Rebellion
It's hard for me to write about this because it's still a little embarrassing, but I'm going to tell you anyway. About a month ago, I had a Total Body Shutdown. My body literally refused to do anything related to my creative business!
I was sleeping for 18 hours a day – a classic avoidance technique for me. When I was awake, I couldn't make myself do a darn thing. I wasn't beading. I wasn't writing. Forget anything remotely related to social media; I even missed a blog post or two!
Just the thought of doing any of these things sent me into an epic panic. Sometimes I felt paralyzed, and all I could do was sit on my comfy red couch, curled in a ball. Sometimes I felt like I was drowning in a sea of all the things I wasn't doing. Most of all, I felt tired all the time.
When I tried to push against the rebellion? I got the same message over and over again:
I don't want to!!! You can't make me!!!
My body had become a cranky pre-teen. The slightest move, the slightest thought in the direction of work, and it had an atomic meltdown that would have been quite a sight to see.
Of course, nobody did see it.
Because I hid it.
Because I was ashamed.
Because I assumed it was happening because I was lazy, no good and weak.
This went on for way too long, until things finally reached a breaking point. One night, Mr. Sequin found me sobbing on the couch. My face was red and puffy, my nose was a leaky faucet, and I'd even started to get those annoying crying hiccups. When he asked what was wrong, the only thing I could choke out was I can't do this anymore.
(And then a freaking centipede crawled onto the couch. Was it worried about me or just wondering what all the noise was about? I don't know, but it sent Mr. Sequin and I screaming across the room. And then I did the only thing I could in a situation like this: I started laughing.)
There's a whole lot more to this story, but I'll come back to that later.
This is going to sound crazy, but I'm glad it happened – body tantrums and all. It showed me that there is, in fact, an exception to don't give up, just like there are exceptions to a bazillion other rules in life. I'm going to share that exception here. In fact, I'm not going to make you wait a second longer because it's really, truly, super important:
You should absolutely, positively give up if...
And because I'm a sneaky person and kind of a tease, I'm going to end the preview here. I hope it was enough to pique your curiosity! If so, you can read the rest of it here. And you can do that for 20 percent off the original price from now until December.
Stay tuned for the second annual Shop In Your Pajamas Craft Fair next weekend, and keep your eyes open for a Dolloween post -- the girls opened their present last week, and there was much fun had by all. There was even some trick-or-treating.
Sarah J. Sequins