“Shiver awake now at the doing of your dream.”–Bob Savino
In my book, Art & Soul, Reloaded, I share 52 anecdotes about well-known, successful artists who, like all of us, sometimes doubt themselves.
I called that section “You’re in Good Company” because it’s vital to know that artists who have “made it” are just as human, just as scared.
Steven Spielberg, even after winning countless Oscars, says he’s still insecure. Lady Gaga was dropped by her first record label after only three months. Saul Bellow’s Pulitzer prize-winning novel, Ironweed, was rejected by 13 publishers. Even Oprah got fired.
I love my collection of inspiring artist stories, but they’re especially useful when I’m about to go out with a new book proposal. Like Maya Angelou said, “Every time I sit down to write a new book, I think this is the time they’re finally going to find me out.”
Every artist has a story about how things could have been so different. How it all hinged on that one connection or that one wrong turn.
As a huge fan of Gary Larson (I just counted and I still have five of his Far Side cartoons thumb-tacked to the art wall in my office), I love the following story:
Larson was working in a music store, not exactly feeling “realized.” Sure, a Seattle magazine ran his quirky, one-panel comic, but he desperately wanted to quit his boring hourly job. He sent a collection of his work to several newspapers, hoping for a syndication deal.
While on vacation in San Francisco, before he heard back from any of his pitches, he approached the San Francisco Chronicle who bought it and sent it out for syndication. By the time he returned home, all dozen (or how many newspapers he’d initially pitched) had mailed back rejection letters. As he often mused, if he’d gotten those rejections before his vacation to San Fran, that would have been the end of the The Far Side.
So I don’t know who might need to hear this, but if you’re feeling like giving up for some reason, just know that you could be days or even hours away from things turning around.
Each of us has a blessing only we can give, a dream we so often push aside with some thought like, “Nah! I could never write or draw or start that business.”
Take it from me who, as I said in E-Squared, has gotten so many rejection letters I could have wall-papered the city of Cincinatti had they asked.
The world, no matter what your thoughts are telling you, wants and needs your gift. #222 Forever
Pam Grout is the author of 20 books including E-Squared, E-Cubed, Thank & Grow Rich and her latest book, The Course in Miracles Experiment: A Starter Kit for Rewiring Your Mind (And Therefore Your World) that has just been turned into an app. Badass ACIM (badass-acim.com)