February 23, 2017

Failing Forward One Emotional Step At A Time

My FedEx delivery guy wrote a novel.

It’s amazing what people do on the side that you’d never expect.

He’s a really nice guy. We got to talking one day and he was so proud of his achievement.

It’s actually a really good novel too. Aimed at young adults and takes place in Ottawa. And honestly, anyone who can write a novel, no matter how good it is, has my utmost respect.

But like anyone who’s been creative, there’s a point where the energy just runs down. Dead.

He faced a series of rejections. He’s trying to get in with publishers. You know, the usual. Knocking on a lot of doors.

And all the doors were a no.

He’s been my FedEx guy for a long time. He used to deliver to my house when I worked out of the house. Now he delivers to my studio.

The last time he was here he told me my space makes him feel guilty. Like he’s doing nothing with his novel now. Abandoned.

But he sees me in my space and wants the writer’s equivalent of success. Or at least some visible progress from all his hard work.

We are all emotional beings. A lot of the time we are driven or stopped by our emotions.

This week I was planning on making a big move, career wise for me. Guess who froze in fear?


Emotions FTW.

But the thing is, as creators, it’s our responsibility to share our work with an audience. Our journey with our art or writing or whatever ends when the piece is done. But the work our creation has to do is just as important and can’t be done unless the work is shared.

So I told my FedEx guy that he owes it to his characters to keep going. He wrote them. Created them. Made them well-rounded. And they aren’t able to do their job because his book is languishing.

You know, I’m not even talking about making money with the art. Not selling books or paintings or whatever. I’m just talking about putting work out into the wild.

Because my FedEx guy? He just wants to have someone enjoy his work. Be entertained. And make a difference in his own way. He’s not looking to be a world famous author. He just wants to leave a mark on the world.

Today he came in, two weeks after our last chat, and told me that he’s got an appointment with a publisher for libraries.

I am so thrilled he’s moving forward. He’s cautiously optimistic. I told him that even if nothing comes from this, he IS moving forward. It may feel like failing forward, but there’s still movement.

And that’s a good thing.