The Creative Multitasking Dilemma

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I am a creative professional.  I am lucky enough that my “job that buys groceries” is a creative job as well but I have quite a few irons in the fire.  I am an illustrator and painter.  I love doing it; terrible at selling it.  That is my husband’s job.  He can sell ice to an Eskimo. I am also an aspiring writer in the middle of a Kickstarter campaign to help publish my first novel, The Adventures of the Flying Furniture: The Return of the Great Flyer.  The novel has been at the forefront of my creative efforts (my sort-of grown up job aside) and everything else has been sporadic; pushed toward the farthest back burner of my life.

Drawing is quick and somewhat relaxing but I often feel guilty pulling out my fancy pens and gouache to doodle when I should be revamping my social media campaign to promote my novel and Kickstarter.  Painting is more taxing but when my project is completed, I feel more satisfied that with almost anything else.  I lose time when I am painting.  Before I had my son and I was a childless, unmarried young-un, I could spend all day on a painting.  I could LIVE paint…at a festival…with people watching and let my now-husband talk about my paintings on display and make sales.  Now, I am lucky if I paint twice a year, not including my day job. It is something I have not forced myself to make time for.

My writing has always been my mythical golden goose.  It is the way I have seen myself cross over into the enchanted world of getting paid to illustrate things and making films.  My paintings sell.  I am not a character or a celebrity.  Art sales for the normal folk are tough in a world that sees rising interest rates, daycare tuition, endless student loans (stay strong!) and car insurance premiums.  I think my non-interest in playing a role and being gimmicky has held me back for sure but it doesn’t change the fact that I love to paint.

Writing and painting both require this zen place for me.  Tripping over Lightning McQueen and hearing the theme song for Paw Patrol twenty-five times a day kills the zen a bit.  I love my family and I have a good life. However, I would like to find my zen place and my balance between all of my creative endeavors and the necessities of life (great, now I’m singing The Jungle Book).

Visit my Kickstarter for The Adventures of the Flying Furniture at FLYING FURNITURE KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN and read more about my literary works on WordPress: FLYING FURNITURE ON WORDPRESS.

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I write, I draw, I do laundry…

I have been painting and drawing for about twenty years.  I have experimented with different mediums but overall, have always considered myself a creative-minded person.  I guess since I’ve been paid to do these things, I’ve earned the title of creative professional. I have recently added writer to my creative resume and am in the process of publishing my first novel.  I have always loved to read.  Books and poems have always been like rubrics for my imagination; a way to take words from a page and create images on a canvas in my mind.  A character can be described in painstaking detail by its author but will still have to pass through the reader’s filter.  So Baz Lurman saw Gatsby as Leonardo DiCaprio; to me, I always imagine him as Matt Damon.  Anyway…I digress.

I am a writer.  I am a mom and a wife.  I am an artist.  The plate is getting a little full but writing my first novel has been the scariest and most rewarding thing I have done, career-wise.  (Being a parent trumps everything!)  I left the safety and security of the known (otherwise known as Texas) and travelled to the wilds of London to study art.  Ultimately what came of it was some serious confidence issues regarding my painting abilities and a nearly finished novel.  What a muse she was, that beautiful, old, stinky city.  I wish that we were allowed to believe in magic and not look like a nut because London has it in spades.  Each walk, trip to a new part of the city or train ride to parts unknown lit some creative spark that I have yet to find anywhere else in the world.  I’ve been wondering, as I begin to navigate the dark waters of publishing, what will become of the 205 pages I crafted from love, defeat, fear, hope and a menagerie of other life experiences in my 38 years on this planet (give or take a few days in college where I thought I was on another one).

I’ve encountered another stark reality, there’s not a whole hell of a lot of support out there.  There are creative writing centers, YouTube videos on being a creative writer, blogs on the ABC’s of publishing, etc…etc…etc… BUT when it comes to the dollars…radio silence.  It’s a dilemma I face: following the traditional route (ie- sending manuscripts to every publishing house I can find an address for and pray to the gods, light some candles and hope to make it out alive), edit myself-promote myself-format the novel myself- try the eBook thing… well, being myself and giving the world the benefit of the doubt, I have tried Kickstarter (which I have affectionately renamed “Kickmyasser”).  It has failed miserably, almost to point of embarrassment.  Life lesson learned at this moment:  It’s all on me.  The world is not designed to make success easy to achieve.  Human nature is not as nurturing, especially to us creative folk or small business owners, as it needs to be.  But hey, JK Rowling did it on her own. I’m running on a cocktail of hope and broken dreams but I am fairly certain that when I see those pretty paperbacks with my name on them in the windows of bookstores, it will be a sweet feeling.  When I see teenagers reading, imagining and enjoying my stories, it with be amazing.

Our Kickstarter Campaign runs through October 24th.  You can also read more about the novel on my other blog page for Flying Furniture Adventures or on our www.flyingfurnitureadventures.com.