As the days and months go by, I am still patiently waiting to hear from Friesen Press. It was January when I started this publishing journey. I am trying to stay positive and focused as I wait for proofs of my book to come. This part of the process has taken so much longer than I anticipated. In the meantime, I still have the same nagging thoughts of self-doubt crossing my mind as I did while working on the design, painting and writing process. “Is this worth all the time and effort? …Will people enjoy the book?” In the end, what really matters is that I followed my heart and did what I set out to do, if I didn’t, I would be upset and disappointed with myself.
After I quit my job, many times I would ask myself the same questions over and over again, “Am I doing the right thing or, can I even do this?”. It’s a surreal feeling after 30 years, to wake up every day and not have somewhere to be. I felt guilty for months after quitting my job. So many years of being managed and a steady paycheque to managing my day to day activities to meet my end goal. Going forward, everything I do is solely on me. Every day my husband would ask, “What are your plans for today?” Every day I would answer “Work on my book.” … I found it difficult to get into specifics and kept my answers short. I did this so as not to engage in further conversation about my work. There were some days I just didn’t know exactly how I was going to approach a painting or a poem. The last thing I wanted was to let him down.
For days I analyzed and internalized ideas in my head before I produced any sketches. When it came to writing the poetry, I researched for weeks, documenting points of interest before formulating it into a poem. I would write pages upon pages until I felt close enough to put my writing into a word document. I had to take into consideration the content and making sure not to offend anyone or any groups. There will be countless people asking why I wrote about this and not that. In fact, there was an abundance of information I wanted to include and had to edit. This is my Canada, my vision, my thoughts and my life experiences of living in Canada.
Some days felt liberating while others overwhelming. In my heart, it felt right but when it came time to pay the bills, watching my savings account dwindle away, I would start to second guess myself. I do love working alone, but doing this for two years, day in and day out, became challenging with feelings of isolation. After two years of completing all my paintings, I decided to return to work part-time. This would help financially and with isolation. Giving me the clarity to focus on my poetry.
Having the support of my family helped to quiet the voices and follow my heart. With perseverance, hard work and believing in yourself, you can turn your ideas into reality.
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