It's almost like giving birth. Months of work lead to a creation made up of bits and pieces of your soul, your teachers' suggestions, your editor's tweaks, your compliance and maybe even timid defiance of rules of the trade. There's the elation when it's out in the world and the feeling that you've finally ticked off at least one item on your bucket list.
Then comes the next step. Just as a new mom realizes that sleep as she had known it will never be the same, you come to realize that your world as you knew it, will never be the same either. It's no longer about putting in the hours in your studio or writing so many words a day to shape up a story. Now it's about getting the word out on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, following links on other people's blogs with hopes of getting more information on how to survive the whole process, purchasing ebooks on promoting your work, discovering business gurus and mentors, researching agents, "liking" fellow writers' and artists' blogs and pages, and so on.
That's why my head is swimming.
On a positive note (because I believe there's always at least one), all of the above must be forcing my brain to work (I have to focus and that's not easy for me unless I'm drawing or painting) and will hopefully delay any onset of dementia or Alzheimer's. It's also led to new acquaintances and friendships and inspiration from other artists and writers.
Erin is out there on Amazon and the continuing challenge is to get it into the hands of more children. While doing that, I'm in the process of illustrating another book that is the sequel to Laurel Heger's Fox and Rabbit: The Tale of the Rabbit-less Stew. At the same time, I've signed up for Mira Reisberg's course on Picture Book Illustration which is coming into the fourth week of class. I highly recommend taking classes with Mira. You know she's rooting for you. Plus, you become part of a critique group and that is so very helpful when most of your days are spent alone in whatever space you call your studio. Mine is the dining table.
Meanwhile, I have neglected my little business, The Pink Net. It hasn't moved beyond its floundering stage although a recent schedule revamp may begin the process of it moving onwards and upwards. I am working on setting up a newsletter that should tie in book promotion and news as well as spotlighting my fellow artists and authors.
Finally, I mentioned a giveaway on my Facebook page (The Pink Net page, that is). I made another mini-album that's a bit bigger than the one I gave out during the book blast of Erin. It's bigger because the pages are made from scrapbooking paper. I think it's perfect for putting in bits of poetry and pressed flowers, photos of people or pets you love. Leave a comment and I'll choose a random winner. For now, I can only send it to US residents. If you live overseas, I can send you a PDF that shows how to make the album (the same one I posted during the book blast).
My next post will be about the picture book illustration course and samples of the illustrations I've done so far.