This morning I sat in Howard’s office while he worked on painting a miniature. His hands are busy, his ears are available, and he’s likely to stay put rather than wandering off to go work on a project. I enjoy talking to Howard while he’s painting. I’m not sure whether he can say the same, because the times when I’m likely to sit down and just talk to him are usually when I need to sort my brain about something. Otherwise I’m off and running around tending to projects. We’re a pretty good pair.
I wanted to talk about one of my intended projects for January. I’m planning to run a Kickstarter for Strength of Wild Horses and the thought frightens me. I’m not at all certain that I have enough skill or social media reach to get a picture book project funded. I think what I hoped for was that Howard would take the role of cheerleader, that he’d pour encouragement on me and I could use the borrowed energy to proceed. Instead Howard stayed firmly in the role of business partner, discussing options and likely outcomes. He’s not sure we can pull it off either. He also spent time as Good Husband, expressing his intention to support me through all of it. Even the parts when I go neurotic or weepy because things are hard. I had to walk myself onward into the day because there was no tide of borrowed enthusiasm on which I could surf. I really wanted that tide, because the day just seemed hard and all my projects of questionable utility.
I was supposed to focus on shipping, accounting, and house cleaning. Instead I sat and thought for a bit. I came to some conclusions. I can either be a person who depends upon others to help her believe in her work, or I can proceed as if I believe because I probably will at some point in the future. Also, fear of failure is a bad reason to give up something I want to do. Howard is willing to follow me through this Kickstarter venture and catch me if I fall. That is a huge expression of love and trust. I need to see it.
Thoughts sorted, I went to my computer to begin accounting. Except once I got there, I opened up my 2012 One Cobble book instead. This is the layout project where I print all of the 2012 blog entries into a book for my own reference. While doing so, I was also collecting stories for our 2012 family photo book and for the 2012 edition of my blog sampler book. I happened to be working on the months of April and May, which were just about the craziest months out of this year. I took a trip to see my sick Grandmother while simultaneously remodeling my office, I taught at a conference, hosted my mother as a visitor, went to the Nebulas, helped my son through a diagnostic process for learning disabilities, managed the end of the school year, managed pre-orders for the latest Schlock book, and sent Howard off for a trip. It was the craziest mish-mash of business and personal that I could possibly arrange. Yet, as I placed the entries onto their pages, I began to see how books I’ve created in the past made a difference and how me continuing to make books will play a part in our future business. I remembered why this project matters and why Kickstarter is the best shot it has to succeed. I found, not a tide of enthusiasm to carry me, but some firm ground to stand on while I continue forward.
So, come January I will make a video of myself talking enthusiastically about Strength of Wild Horses. I will feel awkward and will dislike the result, but I will post it anyway. Then I will be sure it will all fail even while secretly hoping it will succeed. It will do one or the other and I will manage the aftermath, which will either be scary or sad. I’ll do all of this because I think it is one of the right next steps for me to take. There are other steps for me to take: finishing a novel, continuing this blog, supporting Howard in both his prose and his comic, teaching and guiding the kids, fulfilling my spiritual responsibilities, submitting for publication. All of these steps together are taking me places. Hopefully there will be wonderful places after the hard and scary ones that I can see. I’m scared, but that won’t stop me from moving forward.