When my life changed directions and I started writing romance and making art and jewelry it never occurred to me that I was missing something. Is there joy when I write a sexy romance? Yes. Do I get satisfaction creating pieces of art that I’m unsure of and yet still push to finish? Again, yes. And is there instant gratification when I complete a new collection of jewelry designs that I can wear once I’m done? Yep. What I didn’t know was that it’s scary putting my art out into the world. It’s much easier to put it online and then walking away. It’s a totally different beast in its physical form leaving it in someone else’s care.
Yesterday after taking another leap of faith to make my business a success I handed over some of my work for consignment in a local gift and art store called Helium Studio. My belly fluttered, and my fingers bounced on my steering wheel as I drove to Helium Studio. I even contemplated what to wear that morning and finally said to myself, wear whatever the hell you want because you’re an artist, it’s not an office interview. So as I was hitting 45 mph and getting to the store 15 minutes early, questions danced through my head. Was my work good enough? Would the owner like what I brought? Would people buy what I created? I was nervous. My nerves had been dormant for a long time. So, as I walked in the small store with two boxes full of carefully packaged jewelry pieces and canvases I exposed my heart to the owner and showed her what I’d produced the last couple of years. By the time our meeting was over she decided to show all the work I’d brought except a couple pieces.
I was stunned.
You know that rush you feel when you’ve done something that resulted in something good and unexpected? Or when you’re listening to the click, click, click of a rollercoaster as you ride to the edge of it’s designed precipice that will take you over that first giant hill? You kind of lose your words and things move fast to the finish? That’s what happened to me. My stomach was doing somersaults and my hands shook as I finished writing out the inventory I was leaving. And then, I had to part with my original paintings. I kind of freaked out. I was hesitant and worried and I wanted to snatch them back because they felt like my babies. You want to know what that feeling was? Fear. And what I hadn’t been feeling in a long time was the fear that felt good.
I’ve battled fear of failure, failing myself and my family, for a long time. I battle that bastard every day. I tell myself to keep going, that if I work toward my goal of success with particular goals set Monday through Sunday, one step at a time to reach the big goal, then I’m doing what I set out to do. But what I missing in all this goal setting frenzy was the good kind of fear, putting my work out into the world, having wild horses galloping in my belly instead of the numb feeling that had gotten me to this point, to this day, and to this moment.
I don’t want to go without that kind of fear again. Some fear is good. It reminds me that I’m alive and doing what I was meant to do.
I’m still writing romance, but I’ve now added my new business to the site. And with that said I wanted to showcase both. So, if you’d like to take a tour you’ll find some different drop-down menus and a lot more of my art under the WjK ARTiSAN DESiGN title on the menu. A side note, there’s a sale for Valentine’s Day on http://www.wjkartisandesigns.com through the 11th.
My plan is to change up the blogging from time to time. Romance versus my inspiration for my art so you can see where my ideas come from on both spectrums. I’m excited to bring those to you all. And maybe you’ll see an inspirational quote here and there that keeps me going when I’m in a creative stupor.
Re-posted from Deadwood Writers Voices Blog, August 2018
This past month has been a writing bonanza. I’ve written my own obituary, started my About Me biography for WjK ARTiSAN DESiGNS, and have also focused on the anthology project for the Deadwood Writers Group. It’s been an interesting thirty-one days.
I’ve been concentrating primarily on my top five strengths through the class I am taking with Jo Self at Jo Self Consulting. It’s a strengths-branding course (she differentiates for each person’s needs). For my individualized consultation we’ve concentrated on my solopreneurship to dig through my top five strengths—Responsibility, Harmony, Discipline, Consistency, Maximizer–and beyond, which are the result of a specifically designed questionnaire at CliftonStrengths 34 online. It’s been enlightening.
Writing my obituary was a fascinating exercise. What would you want someone to say about you at your funeral? Or, if not an obituary, how about a speech at your 90th birthday celebration? It is a lesson everyone should try. It forced me to look at the accomplishments in my life. What should my life look like as I move forward? Did I reach for things I wanted? Did I set on a path to success? It was an emotional read. When I got to the end, reading it aloud to the participants on the conference call, I had to stop to control my tears because of the hope I have that I helped my girls turn into great woman. The exercise also allowed me to see what needs to be done to reach the goals I’ve set for myself in my professional life.
During the second section of the course Kirsten Back, The Word Distiller, helps with branding our businesses. She wants us to emotionally connect with our customers. That in turn will help customers justify their return or pass on the word about our businesses. There’s some more work to be done with Kirsten, but I’ve got a good start to my About Me page. Now, I need to add the nuances of my top five strengths into what I’ve already written.
And to wrap things up, I’ve asked a lot of what if questions regarding where I want my characters to go in the Anthology for the Deadwood Writer’s Group. The ‘What if’s’ stem from a book I discovered by K. M. Weiland, called Outlining your Novel, Map Your Way to Success. The idea is to take your story in a direction that the reader doesn’t expect, so I asked myself the ‘What If’ questions to understand the premise goals. This exercise led me to some interesting ideas about the characters and how they’ll interact with the main prop, the coin of Caligula. It must be a part of everyone’s story for those participating in the anthology. It was a fun bit of writing and hopefully I have a solid foundation to move the arc in the direction I want the story to conclude, with a happily ever after.