Hello!!!! I can’t tell you how good it feels to be back! I guess that implies I’ve been somewhere, and I feel like I have…lost in a marketing worm hole. If you’ve been following the posts I’ve linked either from here or via Facebook and Twitter, then you know I’ve been guest blogging on various sites in an effort to get the word out about the Brothers of Audubon Springs Series. In the midst of all the madness I found that I missed not writing here on my own blog.
During this marketing promotion blitz, my mind continues to drift back to the title of this blog post found inside a fortune cookie from Chinese takeout about 8 years ago. In the 15 years I’ve worked with my company, I can only remember getting Chinese takeout twice. This fortune arrived around the same time I started to explore the idea of writing. I’ve kept that fortune posted on my desk ever since, and while it has faded over time, the sentiment still remains strong. I have come face to face with something I’ve heard other authors talk about in the last few months…this is not an easy industry. It is not for the faint of heart or the thin-skinned. This is something you have to want deep within your bones.
The interesting thing about creative dreams is that this is not my first creative dream. I’ve talked a little bit over time about my musical past. Back in the day I went to college for Musical Theatre and Vocal Performance. My dream then was that of Broadway and making my living as a singer. Another industry not for the faint of heart or thin-skinned. I sometimes like to draw comparisons to the two…not the industries themselves, but to my different journeys in both.
As a singer/performer, to make it in the industry you have to have the following:
- Super huge talent
- Passion and Drive
- Business Savvy
This is not a complete list, just those jumping to mind at the moment. So in looking at this list, every single item can also be said for a career as an author. Let’s break them down.
- Super Huge Talent: I was a
littlelot younger while pursuing my Theatre career. Looking back I can honestly say, I was modestly talented. I say this knowing full well that my mother will hit the comments to argue the point, but if I can’t be real here on my own blog, then where? My mom will say my voice was a gift from God, and it was, I just didn’t have that extra something, something (See: TRIPLE THREAT) plus a lot of everything else on this list to turn my dreams into a reality.
- Passion and Drive: This sort of goes back to the gift from God voice. I didn’t work hard enough to exploit what God gave me once I graduated from college and hit the biggs. Why? A few years after I arrived, I realized I was just passing through. I didn’t have the passion and drive for the long haul. And why was this? I figured out early on that the bohemian lifestyle wasn’t going to work for me for long. As evidenced in just about everything I write, the themes of my life and writing are HOME and FAMILY. I always wanted to be married and have a child, and not to say that it wouldn’t have happened had I stayed in theatre, I just didn’t see it happening for me had I stayed.
- Business Savvy – When it came to world of theatre, I had no clue how to do the whole networking thing or how to represent myself once the last note was sung in the Audition. This was before the advent of social media. I suspect it might be a bit easier now, but beyond going to auditions and networking with my fellow actors, I sucked at the whole networking with industry professionals. I suspect had I believed in myself more strongly, that aspect of the industry would have come easier to me.
- Perseverance – After a while, after figuring out all of the above, I knew I didn’t have the staying power to keep at it. When a horrible case of Acid Reflux set in, more than likely from the stress of my pursuit, and burned away at my vocal chords impacting my ability to sing with consistency, I dedicated myself to getting well and rehabbing the vocal chords. I REALLY did, but I also saw it as a sign it was time to move on in my life.
Now, if I look at this same list for my new creative dream, the outlook is different. I suppose it helps that I’m a SMIDGE older. It most definitely helps that I’ve been working in a business setting in my day job for 15 years, but my outlook and perspective is completely different. I’m a wife and mother now. I don’t have the time to doubt myself. I can only look forward and keep moving, and hope that in the end all this will be a benefit to my family. Let’s take a look at the list again:
- Super Huge Talent – Am I Jennifer Cruise or Janet Evanovich? Heck no…but the difference in my outlook now is that I plan to dedicate myself to my craft every day to continue to grow until I am the BEST RoseAnn DeFranco, Author possible. Why? See number 2.
- Passion and Drive – I have it in spades. I will NOT give up until I get where I’m going, and when I get there, I’ll use it as a launching pad for the next climb.
- Business Savvy – While I might whine, bitch and moan that my personal circumstances are that of a full time working mom (and unless lightning strikes, I don’t ever see that changing) I have learned a TON about approaching writing as a business over the last 15 years in my corporate setting. I work with some amazing professionals at the day job. I also have an amazing writer’s network. The industry knowledge gained from them over the years and on a daily basis amazes me.
- Perseverance – This goes hand in hand with Passion and Drive. I will not give up. I am in this for the long haul. When I first sold RETURN TO AUDUBON SPRINGS a friend told me that she always knew I’d sell eventually because of this very thing.
So here I stand…the workload of promoting and meeting my responsibilities seems insurmountable for my released and soon to be released work, combined with my family life and personal commitments, and what am I currently doing? Planning the next book. Why? Because in this industry you are only as good as the book you are currently writing, AND because I refuse to give up on this dream. It might mean years of very little sleep, large chunks of time where the only writing time I have is the subconscious mind at work, woolgathering for the next story, but Dreams are Never Foolish. Depend on Them to Guide You.