Revisiting Old Tales
In college I wrote a children's book called "The Oak Tree". The story is about a tree that falls in love with a fox and what ensued afterwards.
The class was a lot of fun! It was taught by a professional that worked at Dark Horse comics. He did an exciting and inspiring job of teaching the ins and outs of graphic storytelling like I had never understood before. He also brought in a slue of guest artists and professionals to mead out industry tips and insights.
One particular guest was an editor at Dark Horse. She went around the room giving healthy edits to people's stories. It was an incredibly rare privilege. Now I was a bit different than much of the classmates in that I was creating a kids story rather than a traditional comic book. When she read my story she was moved to tears. Inside I leaped for joy in that I had struck an emotional chord with her.
However, I was puzzled. I asked what's wrong? She said it was a great story. Yet I was still confused. I asked her directly if the story is so great how would I present it to Dark Horse comics. She said while it's a great story it's unfortunately not a fit for Dark Horse. I was completely side smacked. Here I had hope she enjoyed my story or at the very least hoped she had minimal suggested edits. Now starring me in the face was someone that enjoyed my story so I naturally assume what's the next steps? Sure I'm hardly leaving this kids book in this post at the moment so it might be hard to feel the resonance of what I'm saying.
Yet my point being I felt had found an audience with a creative gatekeeper so to speak, and in this context a positive one at that. However I was mistaken. I had written a children's story in a comic book class. Sure many comics are kid friendly. But this story was the wrong format for the wrong audience. I had thought I was being clever, or perhaps all along I had really just wanted an excuse to tell my story.
Here's the interesting takeaway. Regardless of the audience or the format or really if the story was even good or not. I had a weight on my heart that needed lifted. I'm nobody special nor do I need to be to express my feelings to the world. I want to create emotional connections with people that's all. While I've positioned my mind to revisit this kids story and hopefully release it to the public, it's the alleviation of my creative burden that fuels my soul. Sure financial security has an allure but there really is no such thing as security in uncertainty. And life is always changing, always uncertain.
Resting in this uncertainty has been my new zen. Not my efforts, not my desires, and not the circumstances around me. Creating when there's a weight that needs lifting only through creating is what matters. Connecting in real ways are what matters most. And acknowledging and dispelling the burdens of success or failure. So while I'm revisiting old tales I pray to glean new respect and brighter sensations from the experience they bring instead of the silly possibilities they often never bring.
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