October 27, 2007

My Place in Publishing

That's me! You probably didn't notice... but it is me.
There, near the back... almost all the way in the back.
The one with the hat on.

The area in the lower left is reserved for 'Prize Winners'.
I didn't quite manage somehow.
The yellowish area is for 'Notable Books of Merit'. Doggone! I tried... really I did! Don't we all try our best?

Actually I think everyone in publishing has to feel fairly overwhelmed most of the time. I sure got that impression at the ALA convention last year, surrounded by zillions of books. It's almost impossible for anyone to stand out, I think.

The other photo features some of my latest rejection letters. I had a spare 5 minutes one sunny morning, and I felt like spreading them all out to take a picture of.

Sometimes I feel like giving up... but that's just par for the course. Somehow I manage to regain a new foothold and persist in my folly. I think the trick is you're supposed to enjoy the process... or something like that.

The problem is that its so easy to imagine other pursuits of folly. Follies that might be even more fun & rewarding.


Paige Keiser said...

John, I feel exactly the same way, and yes I've eyeballed other career options. But I can't imagine anything else pulling at my soul the way children's art/literature does. Can you? What did you have in mind? Wouldn't it be awful if that 'award' was just around the corner and you didn't stick around long enough to receive it? ;-)Your latest historical book looks absolutely beautiful. I'm interested to see what happens with it.

BTW I have an email to you half-written and saved. A project came up with a quick turnaround so...you know how that goes.

It will get to you soon.

Sorry, I think I just used up all your alloted blog space :-\

rbaird said...

It seems that a lot of us are feeling this way right now. What is it?
BTW. Showed my little one your bunny in B&N. She loved it.

Sam said...

Oh, ditto everything you said, lol.
And I feel like quitting a million times a day.
And then I start a new project.
I must be nuts.
Or just love what I do.
Who cares if anyone else likes it?

John Nez said...

Oh, in my longings for something different I'd still be making pictures of one sort or another. But they wouldn't all have to be validated by publishers in order to become real. Publishing, being a cooperative artform, just has so many hoops one must hop through.

In fact archealogists have discovered that the word 'Illustrator' derives from ancient latin meaning "an artist who jumps through hoops"!

There's always landscape painting, licensing prints and various other schemes to entice one's artistic imagination... entice or torment, that is!



Sam said...

If illustrator means artists who jump through hoops, then the word author must mean writer who jumps off high bridges.


Anonymous said...

Hi John! I'm shocked that you get rejection letters! (seriously!) after a long period of being depressed because I couldn't decide whether or not to also give up this work, I woke up one morning, just today if fact, clear headed. What if I couldn't do this work? what if I totally gave it up, something happened to my hand (etc...) or God forbid have a stroke...(my husband just had a series of small ones) and I couldn't ever draw or paint again? I realized that I had to stick it out, I was born to be an artist and that's what I intend to be, full speed ahead. By the way, I love your books, that's why I find it so weird that you'd still be getting rejection letters.

Doug said...

Winston Churchill said "success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm."

That seems to be my mantra these days. :0)

Catherine said...

Step one: compile all rejection letters.
Step two: purchase paper shredder.
Step three: laugh maniacally.
Step four: feed rejection letters into aforementioned shredder.
Step five: use shreddings as handy packaging for Christmas/Birthday gifts

Nancy Bea said...

Your honesty is refreshing and heartening. Your humor too. Thanks!