Jason is a musician. He is "this close" to finishing his first hip hop album. After our shared beers lifted our spirits prior to our separate lift offs, we started talking about being an artist in the world. A topic, dear Reader, you know is very near and dear to my heart. Here is what we came up with...
The 3 step process to getting your art out to the world.
- Rejection letters. Learn to love them. When I got rejection letters for my books, I celebrated. I felt like a real writer. A true artist. I was putting my art out there to publishers and the rejection letters were a reflection of this. I did not see them as a reflection of my ability or talent as an artist. I saw them as both an answer to my query (which was a relief) and a symbol that I had finished a project that I was ready to share with the world (which was also a relief).
- Stalk the places where you want your art to be. I wanted my books to get into Barnes & Noble in the USA and Indigo in Canada. If a publisher couldn't get a book into these two national stores, I didn't want that publisher. I was in it to win it. Go to the bookstores, music stores, art galleries, etc. where you want your art to be. Then find out who puts the art you like there and contact them.
- Love the word "yet." Jason had said to me, "I make money so I can make art. I don't make art so I can make money." I ended his sentence with "yet." You don't make art so you can make money yet. Yet is the second most important word in the English language, second only to Yes. There is a reason they are so closely worded. "Yes I am a writer. I haven't been published yet." Yes is the intention. Yet is the hope and fire that keeps the intention alive. "I haven't had a record company pick up my record" is not nearly as powerful as "I haven't had a record company pick up my record yet." Yet cancels out the inner critic who wants to give up and watch reruns of The Simpsons instead of getting back to turning the Yet into a Yes. "Yes, I have a record company who picked up my record." I find it curious that the Yes goes at the beginning of the sentence while the Yet goes at the end. As if the Yet has to crawl its way up to the top of the sentence through work and perseverance before it can be transformed into a Yes.
I send you, dear Reader, and Jason from the airport bar, big blessings and scoops full of Grace to help you turn your Yet into a Yes.
P.S. Holiday report: After being in Maui, I still don't know why anyone lives anywhere else in the world. My Polynesian paralysis is over but my Polynesian hangover has just begun.