The life of an artist is made of intensity of emotions. Nothing is felt in half measured pints.
When you feel you are in a rink and people are throwing punches of invalidation, disregard and bias at you, suddenly, there is someone in your corner, seeing you as the international best seller writer that’s lurching within, you feel like Rocky, and suddenly you are punching back!
An interesting tool available to writers “in construction” is to create the cover of your next novel, as it is going to be when it is published, adding all the desired seals of approval. It may be prizes, academic accolades, “international best seller” labels, it may be a seal of “notable book”. The trick is look for the adult you want your child-book to be, and follow its example. For me it would be Big Magic meets Bride Stripped Bare.
I created the cover of my next book about metaphors for the writing process, a sort of memoir of how I came to be writing it, chose the real title and the font for my name, put the real logo of the publishing house I would like to publish it, and the seals of best seller I would like it to have. I had one copy of it with me at work and showed it to one friend, the one day I went to the office this week. I also created the first page of that book, that black and white one that comes with a space where the authors sign their autographs.
I then imagined myself signing books for people including all the people who are not really paying attenting to my messages at the moment, all the ones that are invalidating me.
This friend asked me to make a copy and sign it for her, those pages of a novel that doesn’t exist in physical form yet, it’s but 82 thousand messy words in a messy file. I did it, I signed it, as I would, with a dedication and love, but a bit worried that the copy didn’t come out perfect.
Later that night the importance of that moment hit me. I was in the shower and I saw myself giving my first autograph. It hit me so strongly that I bent down crying, it surprised me, the power, it was a punch to the gut, I had no idea it was even there. Gratefulness washed over me.
Part of me knows life isn’t certain, I could die in the next moment, part of me isn’t sure of anything, of any achievements, of any deserving, and another part knows the future, knows that it is just a matter of time, and a lot of persistence, and that I take with coffee, every morning.