If you haven't taken a look already, pick up a copy of the April 2014 issue of Bead and Button Magazine. If you do, you'll notice that the cover mentions something about a sequin bracelet. And when you flip to page... I think it's 77? You'll notice that the bracelet looks a wee bit familiar.
That's right! I got my very first project published. So if you've ever wondered how to make my Rainbow Bright sequin cuff bracelet, you now know all my secrets.
Some of you were wondering why I didn't say anything sooner. This is a fair question -- after all, this is a big beady milestone for me! For all the time I spend reflecting on failure and rejection, success is a whole new, unexplored territory. Honestly, I kept quiet mostly because I was in shock. Even though there's a copy of the magazine sitting on my kitchen table, it still feels unreal. Especially because of the way it happened.
See, I was feeling brave, so I submitted a photo of the bracelet, hoping they'd include it in the gallery section of the magazine. It was a long shot, I figured, but I really wanted to show the beady world what sequins can do. I heard back from the editor, asking if they could make it into a project, instead. And I said yes -- of course.
And from there, my work was done. It was an unexpected, easy, and pleasant experience.
(Baby got back view.)
And so that's how a very small action, taken in the spirit of let's just try this and see what happens, led to getting my first article published.
Here are some quick thoughts on handling acceptance. First, it's OK to be in shock. It will last as long as it will last, and until then, just keep reminding yourself of how you felt before it happened -- how impossible you might have thought it was, how much you wanted it.That'll help you put things in perspective.
Second, it's OK if it feels unreal. For those of us who struggle with artistic confidence, our successes come out of left field. Sometimes we don't tell anyone because we don't want to jinx it, or we have to touch it, smell it, taste it, stare at it with googly eyes to believe it. And even when we do see it, we still might need some convincing!
Keep it to yourself for as long as you feel comfortable, if that's what you need to do. Then maybe tell one or two really good friends, the way I did with Mr. Sequin. And when you can't ignore the success anymore, turn towards the support of amazing friends to get you excited. Because it's obviously real if your favorite people are leaving comments on your blog and Facebook, the way mine are.
(Thank you, by the way. Getting the project published is awesome, but hearing from all of you is what really makes a difference to me.)
Also, celebrate! Celebrating can take a lot of different forms. Pat yourself on the back. Buy yourself a present. Tell more people about your success. Collect little mementos like acceptance emails, or in my case, the packaging they sent my bracelet back in -- because I'm a dork. Take your spouse out for dinner and cupcakes. Make sure you do something, no matter how small, because
cupcakes celebrating really cements the realness of a thing. Nobody celebrates imaginary events, right?
(OK, fine. I make up holidays and reasons to celebrate, just so I can have cupcakes. But I'm a really bad role model in this area.)
Next, don't belittle it! If you're like me, maybe you have a nasty little voice in your head that wants to tell you it's no big deal, or that you just got lucky. You have my permission to give a big old Dog Whisperer shhh! to that voice. Don't feel too bad if it does try to sabotage you, though. Just remind yourself that this is what nasty voices do for a living and make up your mind to treat them calmly and assertively.
And finally, keep going! I've said that the best way to deal with a rejection is to keep doing. This is true for success, too. So tackle that next project. Apply for that next show (or, in the case of yours truly, start to define what beading-as-a-hobby-not-business means to you). What I've come to realize is, the One Big Break that makes your career take off is usually a mythical creature. More often than not, it's more a series of smaller breaks that add up to something big.
And that's all I've got for today! Thanks again for all your wonderful comments and messages. You rock!
Sarah J. Sequins