Whatever you do, keep going

So, life has served me a curve ball, followed by an uppercut, and then a short left. I will explain laterΒ when I’m able to put it in words, but for now, I’d like to share a personal blast from a past with you:

IMG_3250

This is a 12-year old relic of my attempt to become a professional sculptor – note the date in the upper-right corner. The numbers refer to the two miniature sculptures pictured, the one on the left is “-4” because I numbered #1 the first miniature I’d sold on eBay. The one on the right is #22 and once I finished it, it had won an honorable mention in an international doll competition:

22goodfull

The reason I wanted to show you the first photo, was to remind you (and myself) that the most important thing we, creatives, can do is to keep going. With each sculpture or draft, we are getting better and closer to that all-important goal of producing something beautiful, something of value, and something that can make us proud. When I made that “-4”, I thought I was pretty darn clever and good to make something that cute. My sister loved it. I now laugh at that memory. Nobody saw it, thank God, and I continued making more and more miniatures until I became a self-taught pro at making realistic faces that are no larger than your thumbnail. If you don’t believe it, have a look at my Purelines website, which somehow is still up. Yes, those dolls have real eyelashes, and yes, that’s my hand in the photos.

I went on to make more sculptures, with a burning desire to become a portrait sculptor. One of my favourites is of a famous actress I hope you can recognise:

Angelina in clay

I finally gave up when it became too obvious that people did not want to pay for sculptures, or rather to pay for the hundreds of hours it takes to make one. I hope to pick it up again one dayΒ when I have more time and less pressure to make a living. Until then, I will write books that don’t sell with the hope of one day becoming so damn good at this writing thing, my new release will become an instant success.

Even if it has to be a #22.

 

78 Comments

Filed under Self-publishing and marketing

78 responses to “Whatever you do, keep going

  1. WOW! I appreciate your talent and that you shared it with us. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are talented! You and Isa are going to hit it big!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Thanks, Ana. I needed this today, as I bang my head on the keyboard in frustration.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful work. I’m sure whatever it is that’s happening you’ll come out of it stronger. Take care, Ana

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Oh dear – I don’t like the sound of the opening to your post. Whatever has happened, I know from reading your blog (and seeing how you have pushed yourself with the sculptures / dolls and your writing) that you are one strong-willed and determined woman who will overcome. And of course, you’re absolutely right about any of us not giving up.
    I hope you get whatever it is, sorted quickly.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. You are so talented!! A sculpture and an author πŸ™‚ Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. olivia Barrington

    Once again you have astounded me with your many talents. You have been given so many gifted talents that I know when you were born God himself touched your cheek and blessed your life. I know what you mean about the upper cut and etc. I’ve had them myself lately. I have to have heart surgery in the near future along with 20 other things that have went wrong. As the old saying goes “When it rains it pours”. But remember the sun always comes out afterwards. You will get through this, you are an incredibly strong young woman who can deal with anything and come out better for the lessons learned. Remember what I told you before about writing. You can and will write other books that aren’t about Isa because you have the talent to write many novels. Keep your pen to the paper you have many, many more stories to write. Now chin up, take a long walk along the beach with your dog and count your blessings. You will feel much better knowing all the positives in your life out weigh the negatives. All I have to do when I’m feeling blue is think about all of the war refugees without a country and nothing to their name, then I know I have so much to be thankful for every second of everyday. Then I thank God for what I do have, stop the pity party and get my act together.That’s what works for me. It fires me up to find solutions to my problems. We all have our problems and they seem all consuming until we put them into perspective. You have so much going for you so I know everything will be okay when it’s all said and done. I am truly sorry your going thru this. Sending positive vibes your way. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh, no! I’m so sorry to hear that, Olivia – my troubles are also health-related, but nowhere near that scale. I hope it all goes well, and thank Nerds for modern medicine. I have a whole team of overachievers that will fix me, so I need to learn how to calm down and trust them. Trying to spin it positive, too – here come another 6 weeks off work for me to write another book πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • olivia Barrington

        Having worked in surgery and the medical field almost my whole career whatever your dealing with, have faith, modern medicine can fix the problem. It’s just when something goes wrong it is a surprise then an adjustment that your body could be defective when we all think we’re indestructible. The best thing you can do is de-stress, surround yourself with a good support system and have faith. I believe you have all that so however big this is for you just remember where you started from and how far you have come in life and all that you want to accomplish yet and the enormity of all of it will start to settle down. Meditation can really help. Like you said the positive is 6 weeks to write another book.Will this be no# 3 or 4 in the Isa series? I haven’t been able to stay caught up with your progress. I know everything will turn out fine but I’ll keep the positive vibes coming your way. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you again, Olivia. Trust is the hardest, but these nerds are amazing πŸ™‚ the book will be #3, and I’m already 1/3 of the way through!

        Like

  8. This is such an inspirational post Ana. Thank you for reminding me of the power of positive thinking. Your sculptures are amazing.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Great example and analogy. It’s a great inspiration and beautiful work.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You have a great talent. My husband is a carver and painter so I know exactly what you mean.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Good message; though it seems a shame you’re shelving the sculpture, you have some real skill at it. (And yes I used skill and not talent on purpose; while you have the talent, the learned skill is more important, at least in my opinion.)

    Maybe you can do it on off days or something. Every blue moon or wicked Wednesday?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, and I agree with the “skill” statement – it’s plainly obvious from that first sculpture, there was no talent there to start with! I’m a big believer in persistence and obsessive improvement – it took around 2,000 hours to go from -4 to 22 and another 1,000 to get to Angelina. I will definitely do that again, but I get discouraged when my work doesn’t sell, although I did sell all of the miniatures. It’s hard to pick just one obsession πŸ™‚

      Like

  12. Hope all is well with you. So easy to get discouraged – as I well know. Keep on keeping on.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Wow – you are so talented, and such an inspiration. Thanks for the lift!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Awesome dolls! You really have a talent. By the way, I’m right there with you on the writing. Discouraged and ready to give up until I read your post, thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Such phenomenal talent! Portrait sculpture is indeed very time intensive. I hope your issues all get sorted quickly and I have high hopes that the opportunity to strut ALL your stuff is swift to be revealed!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Pearl πŸ™‚ it’s not talent, it’s obsessive continuous improvement. Did I mention I had 4 (four) editors help me Polish Shizzle, Inc? The fifth will do the trick, hehe…

      Liked by 1 person

      • “OCI”…there’s a new disorder for ya’!πŸ˜„ You’re fortunate to have had yhat advantage, and it always shows in the final analysis that the effort was taken to “polish” a book before sharing it with a largely unforgiving world of reviewers and critics

        With regards: “Folded Dreams-the Beginning” – – – I wrote that as a verrrrry short story during a class assignment one day, and that was as a first time, 50 yr old college student in 2003. One page.

        It was my husband who urged me, for 12 yrs, to make a book of it. He can’t write or spell for shite, but he recognizes good form, et al. I’m a perfectionist, thanks to both my parents (“You have ONE opportunity to make a good first impression.”), so I have been my own editor, ‘with input from…’.

        Those with professional help might end at the 4th -8th draft of a manuscript. Mine was finished, sort of, after the 110th!!πŸ˜„πŸ˜„

        I’m hoping to have the funds for pro help this time around!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • If it’s a disorder, than I don’t want to be orderly! πŸ™‚

        Before the pro gets my book, it’s easily 5-6 edits by myself, a beta read, and then another edit. By the end of it, I get so sick of the same words, I start doubting if it’s even entertaining, so it’s a good idea to set it aside at times. Good luck with pro help! Ask for sample edits…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Lol! I know exactly what you mean…I’m getting so bored with reading this first half of the novel that I can’t even see any value in the new stuff! Thanks for the advice about sample edits…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Set it aside! Or send it to beta-readers for an honest assessment. And if anything is indeed boring, cut it mercilessly. I’ve only used beta-readers for my second one, but it was a great experience and a very useful one.

        Liked by 1 person

      • This is advice I’ve received from several authors and I’m taking the idea very seriously. I’m still not sure how to go about finding them, but I’ve been scouring my two favourite sites for forums: Goodreads and CreateSpace, both of which I much use.

        I’m also looking into Amazon for ARC reviewers for that final ‘noodge’. EhπŸ˜• We live. We gain mentors. We learn!

        Thanks😁

        Like

  16. Hi Ana! I was thinking of you today for some reason. Hope you are doing okay. Being creative is easy, but being creative in order to make a living is not.

    Those sculptures are amazing! I had no idea you were into it. Unfortunately discouragement with writing is all too common. Sometimes I ask myself, who am I kidding? Should I really attempt to write and publish a book? But I just keep going for some reason. I find encouragement seeing others make progress, or even in their struggles. We’re all routing for you!

    I was utterly amazed in what you accomplished by organizing comedy week! You inspired me to start one for Mystery/Crime week. I also think you’d make an excellent book publicist/strategist. You definitely seem to have the knack for it.

    And by the way, I did get a big kick out of Shizzle Inc. It has some of that old school humor that reminded of the movie, Airplane. Keep writing girl! We only get better in the craft the more we write. At least you’ve finished two full books! That’s amazing! You have readers who enjoy your writing so your’e still a success in my mind.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Tony Poulsen

    Amazing artwork. Very good advice for us all in keep going . Have had those thought everytime I run by the river . You have to keep going.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I don’t know if it’s easier to write than to sculpt. Just seems that way to me because it took you thousands of hours to perfect your sculpting, but I could never do that in a million years! It’s a good analogy: the first draft is a formless chunk of matter, then we scrape and chisel away till the story finally emerges in all its (we hope) wonderful detail.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I guess, looking at the above … we’re with you :0)

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I hope everything will be ok with you. I look forward to your posts. You are an inspiration to me. I have health issues, too. I find out everyday that I am not the man I use to be. I found out about my non physical problems earlier this year. I wish I had discovered what they were 30 years ago. I could have saddled them like a horse and rode my life in a different direction. Still, I am working on them now.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Your dolls are beautifully made! Thank you for sharing this inspirational post. In the last few days I have started gathering ideas and material for my next novel – it’s really time for me to knuckle down and do some creating again.

    I wish you all the best with your 6 weeks of writing, and hope that your health issues will be conquered by your enduring spirit, your natural optimism and your medical team.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Beautiful, Ana! Stay strong!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. You’re so very talented, Ana. Those dolls and that head sculpture are amazing. As for writing and selling one’s books, it’s such a slog. But I think it’s always a case of not having found those people who would like your book if they knew it was out there, rather than them not wanting to buy it. I also think that trying to sell to other writers is far harder than it is to readers who are not writers. How to reach them? Any ideas?
    And you know that I love both of your novels, despite being a writer myself πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, thank you again, Sarah – I think it’s a matter of persisting with every possible way to build your fan base. Social media, ads, and more writing. Slow, slow snow ball…

      Thank you for your kind words about my sculptures, too. Sometimes it’s good to look back and see what you’ve managed to accomplish with hard work. I’d love to make a living doing anything creative, rather than the office slog. One day, I will.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Deb

    Ana – I ran across this article this morning about the importance of writers helping other writers. I thought it might give you a boost. I think you are doing such a great thing with your blog and sharing all the things you are trying – you really embody the spirit that this article talks about – http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/there-are-no-rules/interview-jonathan-maberry

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Deb! This is exactly what I believe – the “pie” is not limited. Together, we can make a much larger pie, and a better one, too. Enough for everyone.

      Like

  25. Oh Ana!! This is just one amazing post, like always! I hope whatever your issues are (as mentioned in the beginning of the post) get sorted out soon and you come out happy and healthy.
    Your sculptures are awesome! Goodness Girl, how talented are you!? 😍😘
    Stay blessed and happy dear!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Your sculptures are good! And just ordered your first shizzle book–look forward to reading it.

    Like

  27. You are very gifted, Ana πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  28. This is inspiring, Ana. ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

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