Thursday, May 8, 2008

Peeking behind the curtain


Sorry for the delay in posting. I'm fighting a bit of a bug and my energy level is tapped out. But I wanted to take a few minutes today to continue our talk.

First, some exciting news. I received word earlier this week that I was listed as an "Up and Coming" blog on the junta 42. You'll see the icon to the right of this posting. The link will take you to the listing [I was the 4th highest marketing blog that taught on Copywriting]. Junta judges marketing blogs based on a list of 5 criteria. To be recognized as a top source of marketing information was truly an honor. You can find out more about their criteria by reading their full press release.

I should be gracious and say "It is an honor to be nominated" but I have to be honest...making the list was really cool. :-)

I remember when I arrived at ACFW Conference last year and learned that I was among a group of people nominated for the award "Mentor of the Year". I didn't know what the "Mentor" ribbon they'd given me at sign-in even meant so I thought nothing of it. Then as the conference moved on I found out. I was so choked up that I called my husband and nearly cried. To be recognized like that was TRULY an honor to be nominated.

Today I want to talk to you about "Peeking behind the Curtain". Of course, this phrase brings images of the Wizard of Oz to many people "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain." And that is the imagery I want you to have.

Many writers approach editors and agents like Dorothy and her gang did the Wizard. Their stomaches are tight with fear and they walk hesitantly. Their breathing is in short bursts-despite every effort to slow it down.

They walk in to the room where the editors and agents are sitting at a table smiling, but they might as well be a gigantic green head on the wall surrounded by smoke and fire. Hesitantly they stutter out the one sentence blurb on their book that they've memorized...then they wait.

The head says "Bring me the broomstick of the wicked witch of the west". Okay, not really. They may say "Bring me a proposal and three sample chapters." [Why don't they ever faint with excitement and simply offer you a book contract on the spot???]

So you leave the room and regroup with your friends. You prepare the proposal, slay that "wicked witch" of fear and self-doubt...and you take it back to the Wizard.

But just as Dorothy, the Tin Man, Scarecrow and Lion learned...even with a broomstick, the Wizard can't always give you what you want. Many people do not get that elusive book contract. The Editor or Agent may only be able to pin an award on you, give you a word of encouragement, or offer you a ride on their balloon [mentorship]. That is because, just like Dorothy, the answer is with you all along. You need to work with what you have and have confidence in your ability. Don't give up. Dorothy missed the balloon ride-but still made it home.

So I encourage you to peek behind the curtain today. Realize that your given more than "One Shot" at this writing dream. The editors and agents are not Large Evil Heads...Actually they are kind people who-just like the man behind the curtain-truly want to help you see the gift that is already inside you. But they can't do it for you. They may send you back out to do what seems impossible [like the wizard did in requesting the broomstick] but in so doing they help you dig deeper and find your true potential, true gifting and make you a better writer.

The Cowardly Lion learned he truly was courageous.
The Tin Man learned he really did have a heart.
The Scarecrow learned he really did have brains.
And hopefully you'll work long enough to see you really are an Author.

I have to go now. I have resting to do.

Your Coach for the Journey, Tiffany Colter

1 comment:

Joe Pulizzi said...

Thanks for the mention and congrats! - Joe