If you’ve been around girl&duck (or me) for any length of time, you’ll know that one of my favourite catchcries has always been, Do the Verk.
For a while there we even had Do the Verk badges!
The thing is, when we’ve social media-ed ourselves up the kazoozy, attended fifty different conferences, workshops, meet-ups, critique groups, wild woman drumming circles— at the end of it all we are left alone.
Staring at a blank page.
When the drums fall silent and the dust settles, the ONLY thing that matters, the only thing that will sustain us and make our dreams come true is to, well, do the verk.
Do the verk and everything else falls into place.
In our noisy world this simple act requires trust. Faith. A quiet, focussed mind.
A deep breath.
Sure, the extraneous stuff can help, (and sometimes it’s fuuuuuun!), but for every single one of us our first priority must always be the work.
Just before Easter our special guest in the Duck Pond was Jane Godwin.
Jane’s masterclass, (Almost) Everything You Need to Know about Publishing Books for Young People was DEVOURED by our members. It was so stimulating and informative; it left everyone buzzing— even Geek Duck! (Who was only there as tech support…)
Jane was wildly generous with her time and knowledge and shared countless insights, tips, anecdotes and nuggets of wisdom.
But when confronted with the age-old question, how do you handle rejection? Jane’s response was thoughtful, heartfelt but ultimately short and sweet.
In the end, she pointed out something I’ve found to be 100% true throughout my own career. Something I had to cotton on to early, something I had to embrace straight away for my own piece of mind and sense of self-worth.
No matter what happens, the work is the one thing that keeps us creatives steady.
Rejection, acceptance, awards, accolades, even jeers and snubs. In the end they all feel kinda the same.
The sting of a tough review. The thud of a blank rejection. The gold medals, fancy awards, glittering prizes.
None of them matter as much as the work.
As Jane said, whether her work is accepted, rejected, overlooked or dismissed, her response is always the same: Nod. Say thank you. Keep working.
I am nodding to you from afar, dear reader.
My wish is that whatever your circumstances, wherever you are on your creative journey, you will always derive pleasure, excitement and deep satisfaction from your work. Therein lies happiness and contentment.
Coming up, Deb Abela, Karen Foxlee, Gus Gordon.
More glorious masterclasses, FREE to Duck Pond members.