In March of 2021, I had an epiphany spurred by a visualization:
After my Silent Story had been on the warming burner for a few months, as I worked on other projects and generally let Resistance* keep me from the project, I was lying in bed on a Saturday morning, and I had a self-perpetuated vision:
Me, 65ish years old, sitting in the living room on the floor with my 10-year-old granddaughter. I have something to show her and I pull out a large envelope. I unwrap it and pull out my Silent Story paintings. Unfinished.
She looks through them, “these are neat!!”
“I made these for a book idea I had over 20 years ago”, I say, “but I never finished the project. That’s one of my big regrets, I guess…”
She says “You STILL CAN make the book!”
I respond with: “Now the feelings are too far in the past, not fresh enough. It wouldn’t make sense because my passion behind the project is gone.”
Lost potential. Lost connection.
What a shame it would be to have this whole thing die in an envelope under a table. After that visualization, I switched to a new one, a future moment created intentionally in my mind:
… being 45 years old and holding my book – and smiling. Thinking about how the process went and how proud I felt for moving forward even when I felt like there was NO WAY I could pull this off. Trusting the process, trusting that this book was meant to be a part of the world, and thankful for the learning and growth that came with the ideas/sketching/planning/painting/sharing/preparing…
Me, feeling so GRATEFUL for the people who nudged me along and believed in me. THANK YOU!!
After that second vision it was so clear to me – I simply asked: what do I need to do to move forward? I wrote down the answer and I’m doing it.
(for you the answers will be different, but my answers were along the lines of: finish the storyboard while making sure the happy-sad-hopeful ratio was correct, sketch out the main pieces, gather the paper for each painting, start putting together samples to share with publishers, create samples to share with my people, itemize and register paintings for copyright, make a list of publishers, go to the bookstore for research, and paint, paint, paint…)
Enraptured by this project for almost 3 years, I certainly felt Resistance try to kick my butt many times. The emotions have run the spectrum. Imposter Syndrome has been at-the-ready. The fear that I will fail, the fear that this will all succeed… equally terrifying.
But we succeeded. And I say WE because 100s of people have stepped up in a variety of ways:
Friends whose kindness turned my chin up at the beginning.
Loved ones who listened and shared and made my story feel worthy.
Collectors who shared their excitement over this idea, shared their stories and their heartache.
Backers who generously supported the Kickstarter.
Bidders who bid on and won the Silent Story art dolls created by Dana of The Midnight Orange.