Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Commute to Success

No one told me that the road to success was paved with lots of hard, hard work. And also a thick skin and persistence. Not to mention determination.

I remember that a few years ago, I wrote an entire novel. In my opinion, it was fabulous. But when I submitted it for publishing, I got one rejection letter after another. One publishing company even recommended that I completely give up writing. But if I continued, please do not bother sending them a manuscript. I was crushed. I gave up. I deleted all the files on my computer and shredded the manuscript away.

I remember giving up photography for years. Even I hated the results of my work. It was way back when I used my manual camera. My eye to recognize a good photo developed much faster than my skills as a photographer. So I gave up.

I also remember that years ago I was told that I could never be a technical writer in US because I was not a native American. And I was a woman. The technical writing industry was dominated by white men. I would never get a job as a technical writer.

I refused to give up this time. And after years of hard work and tons of ignoring the nay sayers, I became a successful technical writer. I worked hard and did not give up. I believed in me when no one else did.

Last year, after much insistence from my friend Carol, I bought a digital camera. And started playing with photography again. Digital cameras are a wonderful thing. They provide fast results and there is not cost to develop the photos. I loved it.

Sure there are some terrible photos I took. But somewhere, I would find a gem and go, Did I really take this photo? Wow!

I started applying for exhibiting my photography. Once again, a ton of rejection letters. But I was determined to break into this world. One show that I applied to was called flowers. I love flowers and took some fabulous photos. I knew what the jury person's style was and knew that I had a very good shot at getting in.

But they rejected my photos. I was OK with it until I saw what they had accepted. Almost all were mind boggling except a couple that just did not fit there. There were these beautiful photos and then a photo of a cow in blue bonnets. It did not fit. It wasn't a good photo at all. But .... this person was a famous photographer and she got into the show. And I did not. Regardless of the quality of my photos.

But I did not give up. I worked harder and harder.

Next month, I have 2 shows. And I am already applying for July shows. If I get in great, if not, I'll keep trying. And use this to grow.

So if you are trying to pursue something, go for it. And don't let the nay sayers bother you. Keep going and keep trying.

The commute to success is a hazy path. But if you keep trying, sooner or later you will reach your destination. Work hard and keep trying.


BLOGitse said...

Well written! Don't give up!
I don't, I want learn from my mistakes...and I will...
and I you! :) (but I'm not ready for galleries etc.)

mythopolis said...

If you stand still you will be going backward, if you walk you will be standing still. If you want to get ahead you have to walk very very fast. (Loosely adapted from Alice in Wonderland)

Nan Patience said...

Though hard, the right work is a pleasure. It sure is nice when work begins to bear fruit, too. I'm glad to hear things are coming around for you!

mythopolis said...

"When you get to the top, don't forget to send the elevator back down." B.B. King

NicoleB said...

Darn good post and so true!
You are great for not giving up :)!

postcardsfromwildwood said...

It's great that you're feeling so good about your achievements. Congratulations on your success and well done for keeping at it. That famous 'serenity prayer' comes to mind: grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. It's the wisdom to know the difference I have trouble with.

Scriber's Web said...

Blogitse: Thanks! Giving up is the easiest thing to do sometimes. You should try out galleries once things settle down for you. I am sure they will like your photos.

Mythos: That's a wonderful quote. Thanks for that. I'll have to remember that.

Nan: Yes I am excited too! But this road has ups and downs so I am sure that I will get some rejection letters. Thanks for all your support!

Mythos: I'll send you a helicopter:) And don't forget that you are also going with me! You get as much credit for the collab pieces!

Nicole: I do give up easily sometimes. But sometimes I keep trying and it pays off:)

Janice: What a lovely prayer. You are right about the wisdom part. It is hard to figure out if this is something you are just not capable of or if you have chances of improving:)

Sumit said...

Scriber, proud of you! :)

And yeah, please do post pics of the exhibition, whenever possible.

Anonymous said...

I am so inspired that you're going after something you're so passionate by. That's awesome. Good luck with it! I'm sure the galleries will love you and if they don't, you can always learn a lot from them anyway. And remember, anything worth having is worth the work and effort put into it! Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the inspiration!