Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Courage to Create...and say no....

Well I don't know about you, but it is sometimes very hard for this leopard to change its spots...

And no,  I don't mean the leopard printed ponte dress in the new Issa/Banana Republic Collaboration, nice as it is...



Issa Collection Leopard Printed Ponte Dress
Good Lord!  I think they left some of the leopard's length back at the taxidermist..

 
No - I meant this leopard, you know - the one in the new silkscreened Wendy/Mickey collection of 2014 (I can't expect Mickey to turn on a dime after all, even though he and I are both besotted by your grand ideas...)


And today's post has nothing to do with clothes.  It has to do with DREAMS...


So you all know I left a big job to pursue my dreams.

I am writing, writing, writing and it is quite humbling, because I am also learning, learning, learning.  I feel like I am starting over and am at the bottom rung of the ladder.  It looks like it is a long way up to the top, or even the middle, and the sign that says "PUBLISHED AUTHOR"? Well it kind of sits up at the top, hidden in some mystical castle, like the giant in Jack and the Beanstalk.

On the other hand, it is quite exciting, because it has been so long since I was so completely, so utterly, a neophyte.  I can't understand why my skin doesn't have acne and why I can't find my training bra - THAT'S how young I feel these days!

So this week I got an offer from a consultant whom I have known many years.  They want to do work with me.  They want to trade on my name and reputation, if truth be told, but that is not as David Copperfield-ish as it sounds - in business that is a very common practise.  For 48 hours I considered it.  Easy money.  Some business lunches.  Some meetings.

But I felt sick.  I was feeling a bit like Al Pacino in the Godfather, Part III and we know how badly THAT turned out....




Oh Al, I feel your pain.  It is a hard thing to change.  It is hard to tell people that you want to be a writer when all of your life you have been something else.  It is hard to tell people that you don't want to work with them for good money when you are at home in your little office writing for only yourself at this point. 

But I made a promise to myself when I left my job that I had a dream and I would pursue that dream.  And it may be a crazy dream, but it is MY dream and it makes my heart sing, even when I am stuck in that little room writing for imaginary children who I hope will laugh at the parts that I laugh at. 

Right now, it is a pretty lonely experience during the day, except for all of you folks, who just make me smile and smile and smile.  So I wanted to share this story with you, because I need some ballast to keep me going and maybe, just maybe, one of you is out there trying really hard to stick to your guns on an important commitment you have made to yourself, whatever that is.

We all need friends to tell us to hang in there.  So here it is from me: Hang in there!  Row on, cause I'm rowing right beside you!


Source

Isn't it nice to be out on the water with a friend?

Have a lovely Thursday, and stay safe out there!

xoxo


42 comments:

  1. Oh Wndy, I admire your bravery and strength So Much!
    You are a total inspiration, and I'm so glad that you are not being swayed by the easy money.
    You WILL be a published writer, I know it!

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    1. Hi Ruth! I believe I will, too, but oh the easy money is tempting. On the other hand, I don't think it would be "easy" money anymore - that old world kind of makes my skin crawl!

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  2. I love your writing in this column so I know that you are a natural and I am in awe of anyone who has a passion, I'm just not that kind if person, never had one never will but that's just who I am. You will reach your goals because that little flame is burning away inside of you.

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    1. thanks Tabs! I used to feel like that at times in my old job - I did it very well because I am relatively intelligent with a good work ethic, but I never felt a passion for it - I always thought "what would it be like to work at something that you really LOVED?" Now I know! Even when it is hard, it is better than my best day in the old world!

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  3. Dear Wendy,
    I admire you... Not only that, but somewhere I must confess I envy your courage! I love my job description but when it comes to day to day, my job is really frustrating... I stay here for many reasons, good or bad, it is a choice I made and still make every day, yet, I am not sure I am really assuming this choice. So yes I admire you to go and pursue your dream! You will get there because you want so, have plan for that and you work for it.
    Don't give up, show us that it is possible.
    Take Care
    Steph

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    1. Thanks Steph! Well I don't know if I would have had the courage 10 years ago, so there is something to be said about timing/opportunity, etc. And I did get a small pension from my job, which quite helps!

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  4. I guess I do not see it as a dream, a passion yes. You, my dear, are living your life. You only have one do not let it be directed or dictated by fears, money, ego, what have you. The easy way is not always, seldom is, the right way. I could go all Christian on you...but know that you are never alone and always, always loved.

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  5. Yoda comes to mind -- Do or do not, there is not try. It's about fully committing and believing in yourself. May the force be with you.

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    1. Hey thanks Anon! Or are you really - YODA? :-) Oh, I would love it if Yoda was here!

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  6. Hang in there my friend. You are focusing on what can happen instead of can't. How many can do that? Remember JK Rowling whose Harry Potter was rejected by 13 publishing houses. In the tradition of surrounding yourself with your passion, let me recommend some movies about writers that you might find interesting: Wonder Boys, Deconstructing Harry, The Squid and the Whale. And if you're feeling frustrated, there's always Misery with Kathy Bates, LOL. Promise us we get a first glimpse of your book cover and dusst jacket.

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    1. Oh Marie - great idea to watch some other strugglers! The Misery recommendation made me laugh out loud!

      When I get a book published - you all will be the first to know about it!

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  7. Sorry, dust jacket. Rushing to work.

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  8. You are a natural; if you went back to a "day job" now, you would wonder if that was the reason you did not write more. If you can afford it, defer. You can always get something in the future if you need to. I loved my job, but it was GD!&$#@! difficult and will not do med. for $ again, only for free.

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    1. I hear you! I plan to start doing some volunteer work in the fall for the exact same reason! Plus, I believe that the path is forward, not backwards!

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  9. Stick to your guns, you're doing great!!!

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  10. Hi Wendy, hang on in there. One of my dearest friends left a high-powered job a couple of years ago - she was burnt out, planned to work more with horses (her passion). However, a few months later she was offered some consulting work and, well, I hardly hear from her these days. She is just as busy as before, if not more so. If you can afford it - don't get sucked back in!!!

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    1. Hi Patricia - that is my worst fear! I still have 8 months of full salary, so I think I need to keep going and see where the universe decides to take me!

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  11. KBO! Well Wendy, I was not as committed to you, getting sucked back into a field I was hoping to grow out of. But I thought hard and believe my rationale based on other ambitions is valid. I have a firm "exit" deadline and for the past 12 mos. I have kept my promise to only work with/ for people and clients I admire and respect, doing things where I can make a difference. And to speak my truth at the boardroom table, rather than kow-towing. It may not earn me bonuses or ladder rungs, but I feel 100% better about myself and my purpose.

    What I wanted to say is that it is always hard not to slide back into the familiar and comfortable. Money and security are a big siren call. So I am proud of you for keeping the faith and making the best choice for you. I often have to "hip check" myself, "is that what you want - REALLY?," in 30 minutes, in 30 days, in three years? It's good to have friends to be a sounding board (especially when the work network changes.) And I think this group will always give you back lots of reality checks and morale support. Write on!

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    1. Easy money is never really easy.

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    2. Life is always a tightrope or a feather bed. Give me the tightrope." -- Edith Wharton

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    3. Whoops, that was as not to. Just back reading wonderful comments. The entire Wendy Fan Club rocks! And that says something about you and your writing skills my dear.

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    4. Aw - thanks GF! And you know - I would never say never but for me now - any work has to be for a higher service. When I write, I imagine who will read it and I am talking to them. If some fabulous project came along that would really better some lives, I might be all over that! And I know how hard you worked to make sure that this new work is in complete alignment with your values. Even as I write this, I realize that the work I was being offered was not in alignment with mine!

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    5. Well, I have my fingers crossed our little NB oasis will come through with a project - when the time is right. And that is more research and writing, just a different kind.

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    6. oh me too - that would be fun!

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  12. I admire you so much! I hope I can do the same at some point in my life. You are setting an amazing example for us career moms! I can't wait to buy your book(s) and of course I want them autographed!

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    1. A, sweetie, when you get to be my age you will be braver than me - I find younger women today so inspiring! Thanks for the kind words!

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  13. Wendy you are so brave and talented, I know this will end well for you. Keep writing every day, your charm flies right off the page!

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    1. Thanks Dani - just think of charming Jian Gomeshi will find me when he interviews me one day!

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  14. My fingers are crossed for you. I think at a certain stage of our lives we recognize what our unique talent is. It is so important to pursue it. You write so engagingly that I am sure you will be successful.

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    1. thanks knityarns - I will keep going for sure and see where this all leads me!

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  15. Like I said at some point, we are twinsies! I left a high powered job to pursue my education and writing, and now I am at the tail of my PhD. It's been lonely, so it's nice to have someone to row with. All the publishers I know are academic, so I can only help through encouragement, as I know you are going to be successful. As a matter of fact, I think you already are!

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  16. ps: are we going to be the first to get limited edition WMM tshirts?

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    1. AB - when I get published everyone will get the WMM Moral Support Tshirt for sure! It is hard to pursue your passions, but so worth it!

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  17. Glad to hear you trusted your gut and stayed true to your dream.

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    1. How are YOU???? I have been thinking about you and wondering how the move has gone????

      Thanks for the vote of confidence! Will you be posting the story of your move soon?

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    3. Oops...I am good, thank you so much for asking! The move went well. We are still unpacking. :) but glad to be somewhat settled and off the road. Will update my blog in the next few days - have been lazy.

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  18. You are so brave Wendy and i am glad you are true to yourself.

    I cant wait to read your book:)

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  19. Well done you for sticking with your dream, I'm sure that's the best way to make it come true!

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  20. Hats off to you, Wendy, for sticking to your writing! I am sure your dreams will come true. Your talent and passion for writing are so apparent. I know how it feels though - the money and the security are such powerful draws. I often wonder whether I made the right decision to turn away from looking for another job in a law firm, but the thought of spending another decade of my life in the legal industry made me feel like my life was already over. Your clip of the Godfather rings so true - I recently agreed to write a patent application for an old client who was always kind to me, and I am doing it for the sake of our longtime working relationship, but still, it is making me grit my teeth just to keep going with it, the only point being is to get paid at the end so I can put it towards the kids' school fees. After this project, no more! Anyway, I'm glad to be rowing along with you. It's not easy but it makes me feel a bit more hopeful for a happy outcome.

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Kindness is a virtue...