An oddly formed and rather unhappy bunch, they are. My husband thought it was the saddest thing to see them all drawn out on paper like this, but it was very cathartic for me. If I was all dramatic and starring in a lifetime movie I would burn the paper now, but instead I’ll just post it on my blog and wax a little poetic. How very 2013 of me.
Since I sent out my very first picture book manuscript to an agent last week (the moment I have been working up to for three years) I have been positively plagued by these jerks, and finally I decided I had to face them on paper. This isn’t even all of them… when I was walking the dog today I thought of at least ten more, but thankfully a great deal of them faded into the white noise in the back of my mind and only the most prominent ones remained. Now that they’re here in plain light, they don’t really seem so intimidating. Some of them are just a little unsure of themselves. They don’t think they’re good enough the way they are, or they’ve been intimidated by their competition. Some of them are downright nasty, but they really aren’t that big at all and a good ol’ can of bug spray would fix ‘em. Some of them are rather intimidating… but the joke’s on them, because they don’t even exist in real life. They’re mythical, and the moment I stop believing that they exist is the moment I leave them behind.
There’s power in the naming of things. Any fantasy novel will tell you that, but it’s true. When you put a face and a name to your doubts, however silly you need that face to be, they’re no longer unseen spectres lurking overhead. They’re just silly ostriches with all of their feathers plucked out, and it’s much easier to turn around and walk the other way… or even to wrap your arms around them and tell them you love them just the way they are, and maybe they’ll reciprocate.