I didn’t work on my picture book story from the time I wrote it down in 2016 until I took a second picture book illustration class in 2018. What had I been doing during those two years? Although I loved to draw as a child, I had no formal training in art. I remember thinking that I needed to learn some basic concepts in art and illustration before I could tackle this project. So I enrolled in the Fine Art Certificate Program in my local art school. Now I am working on my debut picture book, I still feel I am not ready sometimes. I have so many excuses such as I am a newbie and I don’t know everything yet. Then my publisher announced the book deal and I posted the news on Facebook. Once my family and friends knew about this, I started to panic: What would they think about my book? What if they didn’t like it?
These kinds of thoughts made me feel overwhelmed and stressed. Then I saw a video (starting at 1:55:29) where Eckhart Tolle talked about writing his best seller The Power of Now (this book has the coveted spot on my night stand).
1. He felt an urge to write the book. It was like something wanted to come into being and he became a channel. He talked about the purpose of the universe is to create and express through us in another video.
2. If you become stressed while doing it, it’s because you are attached to the outcome (ie. to write the book in order to become famous or rich, etc.)
3. The practice is to be present. Enjoy the doing, the action IN THE NOW which is more important than where you want to get to.
It was just what I needed to hear. Besides, we learn in real life situations and not in a vacuum. I am grateful to have this opportunity to learn while doing it. Whatever the result is will depend on the quality of this moment. So all I need to focus on is this moment. Am I doing my best? Am I enjoying it and allowing the energy to flow into my work?
Debbie Ridpath Ohi (children’s book author/illustrator) said it brilliantly in her comic You May Be Luckier Than You Think. I just have to appreciate where I am now and enjoy the journey.