TOUGH LOVE: When Plans Fall Through

Have you ever had your heart set on something, work at it really hard, feel/see/believe, taste it…expect it – and then…it doesn’t happen? Poof! Just like that, it’s gone. Then what happens? Isn’t it the worst feeling ever when a dream you had doesn’t quite work out? What happens next?

 

This was me last week when I received the news about a beloved project that fell through.  It’s funny, when I decided to write this post, I planned to be kinda vague and not share the details. I was embarrassed. But something in me is saying, “just tell it like it is.” Okay, so if you’ve followed my blog all along, you know that I’ve been working on fiction writing since the very early days here. 2003, I think, was my first post. And it all came to fruition. I wrote and published two novels themed around women who craft! (Thank you for the support of those!)

 

You maybe also read about my work on my third novel, MIRACLE OF THE SACRED CUPCAKE. I had big dreams for this book. I envisioned it as a Hallmark movie, then more books and more movies. My life was set! I had my next novel lined up as well. All I needed was that call from my agent saying “It’s a go, Kathy, we got an offer, let’s do this!”

 

Um, well, it’s not happening the way I planned, at least not right now. Last week, my agent let me know that my publisher passed. Gulp. Honestly, I already knew in my gut. We all have that intuition. Maybe I manifested the decision? I don’t know. I still had my ugly cry, it was a release I needed because I had been waiting for the news since before the holidays. Then I went through the Seven Stages of Grief. Seriously, every one of them. Now, here I am sharing this story. Acceptance and hope, yay!

 

Every time something like this happens, I let it soak in, and then look at it critically. That way I’ll how to not repeat the mistake. In this case, I waited too long to act on the opportunity. Not because I took it for granted, but I allowed myself to get sidetracked, I put other projects ahead of it. Perhaps out of fear of tackling another 95K manuscript? It happens to the best of us. When it comes to non-fiction books, I’ve had seven published and about five or six proposals rejected. But for some reason, the fiction rejections are more difficult to swallow, maybe because you invest so much emotional energy into a several imaginary people!

 

But, if the answer had been YES from my publisher, I would have dropped everything to start writing that book!

 

*needle scratches across record album*

 

THAT was/is the problem. Waiting for a YES when it comes to expressing passion for a craft. One should never wait for the “yes,” for a paycheck, an assignment, a deadline. You just do it because you can’t live your life without doing it. Even though I was waiting for the verdict, I could have been writing short stories, essays, even a new novel. The way I am with crafting. Creativity possesses me (in a good way) and I craft it out. But I have so many insecurities with writing, I let myself associate writing with published books and I put it on hold, waiting with baited breath to feel validated by an offer. Almost like, if book three sold, it meant that I was good enough to keep writing. When really, I should have been writing all along, just because I love to do so.

 

I’ll never make that mistake again! Carpe diem, people. Take hold of today’s opportunities and act on them, they won’t be around forever. Here is some Crafty Chica tough love when it comes to pursuing your passion: Stop making excuses, stop procrastinating, and take charge of your dream. Exercise your talent so it won’t get flabby. Soak up all the experience you can. Be serious, carve out the time. Practice a little bit each day, make a progress chart. Document your achievements. Don’t wait for a gig, a deal, fancy equipment, an agent, a producer, a network, or a boss, or even a wad of money. Do it for yourself however possible, then share it with the world and be proud. The rest will come your way because you’ll have a solid foundation of skills, expertise and devotion that you built.

 

If you want to be a writer – write.

If you want to perform – perform.

If you want to be a painter – paint.

 

You get the idea! We all know this backwards and forwards but it’s nice to have a little wake up call. This was mine. As for me right now, I have another BIG project (actually two) that I’m focused on for this year and maybe writing a novel right now wasn’t meant to be in order to make room for those. Life works like that, right? But geez, I feel blessed and honored to have authored NINE books! So this one didn’t sell, no biggie. I know there is more to come if I set my mind to it again.

Before I sign off, I want to share a bit about that third novel. It was a really cute story and I’m excited to get back to work where I left off. It was called MIRACLE OF THE SACRED CUPCAKE as was about a longtime traditional Mexican bakery in South Phoenix that gets bought out by a commercial cupcake chain, much like a Sprinkles.  In my original story, there were two female leads: tough chick Desi, longtime lead cake decorator from the Mexican bakery – and the very polished and corporate Juliette from the cupcake chain. The two go head-to-head on style, customs, etc. I was then asked to make it a romance, so I turned Juliette into a guy, which added made the story even more tasty.

Thanks for reading through all of this! It’s all good, life is a happy place. Moving forward! Remember, don’t let a set back thwart your plans, let your heart and spirit rule the direction, keep pushing ahead, okay? And know that EVERYone has their challenges, high points, bumps, shine, torn corners, etc, it’s what makes life rich and textured and we wouldn’t have it any other way, correct?

Love & light,


14 Responses

  1. Aww, friend. I know how important writing is to you. Of all the projects you have your hands in, its the books that make you have that magical twinkle in your eye (that and mugs! hehe). Keep writing, friend!

    My dream was to work for a cool magazine. Instead, I’m a mom with six kids. Guess what, I’m treating my blog like its that cool magazine! Eventually, that cool magazine art director salary should come along, right? Love you!

    xoxo

  2. Thank you, Denise! Such positivity and I love what you do with your blog, that’s why I became a fan long ago!

    Alison, thanks! I’m definitely going to change the voice and rework and try again. It just stung at first, but that is no reason to stop, right?

  3. Thanks for this post. I had a disappointment last night and I’m still pretty pissy about it… but your words make me feel a bit a better and realize that I just need to plow ahead.

  4. Don’t give up. I think it sounds like just the kind of book I would read. I’m not sure about the romance, because I love a good book about strong women. We don’t need no stinkin man!

  5. “Exercise your talent so it won’t get flabby” – i love that! i might just have to post that somewhere i can read it EVERY day.
    sorry this publisher passed, but i have no doubt you will get your book published. keep doing what you do, kathy! 🙂

  6. Kathy, So sorry to read of this disappointment about your fiction book proposal! Their loss!

    All your commenters offer good advice, so take heart and get back to work on your lovely art and inspiring life.

    Cheryl,The Stylish Studio

  7. You know how once in a long while you go outside and it’s raining but still it’s bright and sunny and suddenly the day isn’t dreary but totally magical instead? Kathy, that’s you – you have the rare and wonderful gift of putting sparkles on raindrops and helping everyone around you see that everything is going to be ok. I am always so moved by your pep talks and inspired to tackle all sorts of potentially drippy challenges!

    But don’t you worry, it’s only a matter of time before CCC (the Crafty Chica Channel) is on TV! I love the story you tell about envisioning your own product line by putting your own labels on bottles of paint. I say – start putting those labels onto old DVD boxes because I know I sure would love to watch a romantic movie involving baked goods! 🙂 Pan Dulce and a cup of love! 🙂

    Oh! Also, I remember long ago reading your funny stories about chocolate cake in the office and a blue skirt that split and pointers for new crafty businesses – you should repost those!!! They were wonderful and in themselves would make another great book!!!

  8. Hi Kathy, I pop in here every so often because your blast of colors always makes me smile. I rarely comment though but happened across this post and your sentence ‘exercise your talent so it won’t get flabby’ made me laugh so much. Hugs for being so brave in sharing this story. I’m sure the world hasn’t heard the last of ‘Sacred Cupcake’. Keep sharing your beauty!

  9. Hi Kathy!

    Thank you so much for sharing this story! You don’t know me, but I am a huge fan! I am in the process of “transitioning” from a 20 year corporate career full of hate and anger to the life of an artist filled with love and peace. Last week was a tough one for me as many dreams were either unfulfilled or side-tracked. I am really struggling.

    Today, out of the blue and while making art, I thought, “you know, I haven’t read Kathy’s blog in awhile”, so I came right over to my computer and read your entry. Talk about the universe giving us what we need!

    So, long story short, your thoughts above have really helped me “get over the hump”, as they always do. As I read recently on TUT, “Whenever an escalator to ‘success’ ascends without you,(just ‘swooshes’ right into the sky leaving you on the ground), it’s always because there’s another one on the way that will go even higher, with your name plastered all over it (not to mention a booming sound system, tripped out wheels, and fuzzy dice.)”

    Thank you, again, for being such an inspiration!

    Joan

  10. I wrote a novel during NANO in November and am afraid to even edit it– don’t think anyone else will like it, not to mention publish it. Be inspired! You’ve already had two published, and that’s more than a lot of people, including me.:)

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Kathy Cano-Murillo

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Hi, I’m Kathy, The Crafty Chica! My specialty is creative motivation. I’m an artist, author, and speaker and this is where I share my craft tutorials, artwork, articles, books, product lines, and workshops!

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