A few years ago I was doing an author symposium at Eastern Michigan University. I was there to promote my children’s book I had just gotten published, titled “Sea Beds,” and it was a very exciting time for me! After the event ended I had a long line of eager friends, family, and strangers lined up to get a copy of the book and a picture with the author. After I finished signing all of their copies for the night, a young man with thick-framed glasses and a tucked in shirt came up to talk to me. He was timid and uneasy…I could tell that right away.
“Hey Shaun. Can I get your advice on something?” he mumbled in a soft tone.
“Of course! What can I do for you?” I said.
“I am wrote a novel and was wondering how to get it published??? What do you think? I could use some direction.”
I asked him what his novel was about and what he ultimately wanted to do with it. Did he want to get it edited, published, sold, etc… Then I told him about how I had to pay for a publicist to help me market my book. That is usually the case for most first-time, unknown authors. His response to that was exactly as I had expected.
“WHAT!? I’m going to have to pay? That’s ridiculous! I shouldn’t have to pay anyone a dime to put out my book.”
I knew he wouldn’t go anywhere as a writer. And it wasn’t because he didn’t have the guts, passion, or talent to do it. It was because he was not willing to do whatever it took to achieve his goal. That’s why he won’t be a successful author. Unless he changes, that is. I told him he wasn’t ready to proceed with his plans and he stomped away. Looking back, I’m glad I didn’t steer him in the wrong direction by telling him what he wanted to hear.
My point is this…whatever your dream may be, you have to take FULL responsibility in making it happen. No one is going to do it for you. To put it bluntly–if you aren’t willing to spend or invest the money, to make the contacts, or risk countless rejection, or put in 16 hour days, or to be humiliated and uncomfortable on a regular basis—then you don’t deserve to your dream. If you are ready to sacrifice, then the world is at your feet.
And I’m rooting for you!
Starting an art career is a lifelong journey. It is not a sprint. It is a MARATHON. Put in everything you have and you will get it back in full. I promise you. I know I have a long way to go to becoming a world-renowned seascape painter, making six-figures a year from the sales of my art, and being able to travel around the world. But you can bet your boots that I will make that happen, no matter how long it takes.
That is MY dream. And it is non-negotiable! What is your dream? And are you willing to do whatever it takes to realize it?
I wanted to share with you my new banner I created for my page on etsy. I think it represents my new pallete knife paintings very well 🙂 Below is the link to my shop for you to check out
So until next time,
Do what you love to do! And do ALL that you can do.