I almost gave up

All that happens in London depends

more on you than you can ever believe.

Everything is created by the image you

carry within you. 

Anais Nin

I almost gave up. 

After years of rejections, I told myself that I would go to the London Book Fair one last time.  I would give it my best effort, and if nothing came from it, I would quit pursuing the world of traditional publishing, at least for a while. 

We've all heard those stories about how famous authors have wallpapered their spare bedrooms with rejections letters. I'm never sure if those stories are meant as cautionary tales or encouragement.  Certainly, when you're living it as a reality, it feels pretty hopeless. 

There's only so much rejection one person can take before they crack.  

I reached that point months ago.  But, I wanted to make one last effort, just to prove something to myself.  

So I printed my portfolio images on the best watercolour paper I could find.  I practiced my smile, which I would have to wear infallibly through good interviews and bad.  I filled my heart with hopeful thoughts, positivity, and (almost false) confidence. 

For three days I went from one portfolio review to another.  

You want to know the amazing thing?  

Suddenly people were noticing. They appreciated my illustrations.  They had constructive, even positive, things to say.  Some said they would call me back.  A week later, some of them did.  

And, dear readers, I signed with an illustration agent!  Advocate Art is now representing me as an illustrator. 

Signing with an agent isn't any kind of guarantee of success; I know plenty of illustrators who have agents and still don't get publishing contracts.  

But, right now, that's not the point.  The point is, I didn't give up, even when I was so close to throwing it all in. The point is, just when I thought all was lost, someone important appreciated what I had to say, and put their confidence in my talents.

Who knows where this will lead? I'm sure it will add interesting twists to this adventure! 

I saw this quote from Cheryl Strayed on

Meg Fee's blog

, I thought I'd share it here...  

Every last one of us

can do better than give up.

It may seem hopeless, but if there's a white fire of passion burning in your heart, there will be a way for it to become a reality. I'm sure of it.

Even if it takes more time than you think.