Wednesday, May 23, 2012
A Little Change in Scenery
Greetings my friends! I am back from a nice break. I finished up a big book project and then headed off to Disneyland with my fam a week later. It was fabulous, and I feel well rested and ready to push full speed ahead. Above is a watercolor sketch I did of a very silly chicken puppet my sister gave me for my birthday (yes, I LOVE puppets). Her name is Henrietta and she has decided she wants to appear on this blog from time to time in different costumes along with some of her other animal friends!
While I was working on my most recent project, I did a lot of thinking, a lot of listening to postcasts, some more thinking and even some soul searching. I have been writing down loads of ideas in my idea book. I also revisited an old favorite audiobook of mine: If you Want to Write by Brenda Ueland. This book helps me be inspired to write and take time to create what I love to create. I listened to many inspiring podcasts. One of my favorite podcasts to listen to is the Paperwings Podcast done by Chris Oatley and Lora Innes. They both do comics (Chris Oatley works for Disney Animation) but the things they talk about are so helpful for storytellers and artists of any kind. So many things they said inspired me. I frantically wrote notes while listening to their podcasts on time management, accelerating your personal projects, following your dreams, and overcoming creative block. Yes, I highly recommend this podcast.
In one of the podcasts Chris Oatley mentions the book The Dip by Seth Godin. I've read Linchpin by him, and really liked it, so I thought I'd try out this book. The Dip was a perfect book for me to read at this time in my life. It talks about how every career or project has a dip- a big climb that you have to make it through to get to the top. He also talks about "Cul-de-Sacs" or dead ends. These are projects that are holding you back from the big goal and these are things you need to quit. I've been going through several "Cul-de-Sacs" lately. I've been taking every job I've been offered just because I was afraid of not having enough money for my family. Yes, my friends. I have been scared. But these projects are not the kind of work I want to do, the pay is not great, and since I don't love what I am doing and have very little time on each project, I have been settling for mediocre. Well, I have burnt myself out with jobs that are not taking me and my career where I want to go. So I made the big decision to quit some Cul-de-Sacs and focus on where I really want to go. I have turned down several jobs and am taking on only small projects while I work on some of my own personal projects. I am changing my own destiny. As Nacho (Nacho Libre- one my most favorite silly movies) says: "I am the gatekeeper to my own destiny and I will have my glory day in the hot sun."
I want to also work on my online presence. So I am going to be doing a few fun things. First of all, in June I am going to start publishing free coloring pages once a week on Thursdays in this blog. I also hope to make things more exciting over on my Facebook page and I plan to do some more give aways. My Facebook page has a new address: www.facebook.com/shawnajctenney. Come on over and "like" my page and I promise to do some fun things over there! I also decided to use one photograph for all my online things- facebook, blog, website, twitter etc. I heard this is a good idea for social media and marketing from my other favorite podcast Brain Burps About Books. So onward we go. I hope you, dear reader, are all trying to follow your dreams!