Disclaimer: This post is about me actually, but I thought it’s a good idea to record my thoughts, as it might benefit you as well, at some point.
So, as you probably have figured out by now, if you are reading this blog regularly, I have studied architecture in Greece. Then I did a one-year internship and then came to the Netherlands to study architecture a bit more. And I did two more internships. And then that whole financial crisis thing made it super hard to find work as an actual architect. That hurt quite a bit. I sent tons of applications, I wrote a new motivation letter for each company, after carefully studying their work and still nothing. I did get a few replies, letting me know that “It’s not you, it’s the crisis”, so at least I knew my portfolio was not absolute sh*t. I did not just “face” fears of failure. They slapped me in the face, ’cause I totally failed to find a decent job as an architect.
At that point, quite randomly, a friend of my then-boyfriend-now-husband-but-still-boyfriend, introduced me to a website, where I could do projects as a freelancer. My first project was the design of an e-book. I sure knew how to design books after all those presentations and graduation projects. It went great. It was a quick project for me and I got paid for it (what a novelty!). Then I did a translation. The client was super happy. Then I wrote a small article. And another e-book. And then I also illustrated a couple of e-books. And that’s when I realized that I actually wanted to be a writer all my life. Well, I knew that I wanted to be a writer, but I did not realize that this was actually a profession. So my fear of failure did not stop me from changing career paths and working as a writer. BUT… there is a big but there.
I did work as a writer for two years. As a ghost-writer, to be exact. As a severely under-paid ghost writer, to be more specific. I had trapped myself, because I started working with super-low fees, as I did not have a degree in writing. As it turns out, clients loved my work and no one ever asked me for my degree. I started slowly raising my fees, but it was just not a viable option.
And then, with the support of N. -always with the support of N.- I decided to take the leap and start working as an actual writer and illustrator, combining my two passions. And that’s how Lou was born. My own name on the cover, full responsibility of what I write and illustrate and so on. That’s quite a scary step but very exciting as well. And it is really scary exactly because this is actually what I love to do. This is what I feel I am good at. What if it goes to hell? What if it doesn’t work out? What am I left with then? (I am sure I will figure something out, I am just trying to share my fears with you).
And I even took it a step further and decided to put myself out there for good. So I am joining pop-up markets, artist’s markets, handmade products markets and so on. Why do I face a fear of failure? Because I am investing the hard-earned money of N. to organize my market stalls and I am dragging him and Loulou along for support (and because Loulou refuses to drink from a bottle). Therefore, if I fail, it will be a waste of money and time. And it will also be a great disappointment, because this is my dream you guys!
Does that fear stop me from trying? Nope. I truly and firmly believe that it is better to regret for something that you have done (well, most of the times, at least). So you can either start chasing your dreams too, or wait a couple of months to see how my attempt will go. Just to be safe, you know.
So there. If you want to come a and mock me and my writing ambitions right in my face, you can find me the 23rd of November at the Small Business Pop-Up Market, in Amsterdam.
Good post. Love the topic and am always interested in how other people face their fears in the hopes of picking up new strategies. I find your illustrations delightful.
Thank you for your kind words Antonia!I hope that I will be able to elaborate on the subject more once I am back from my first market 🙂 That is quite a challenge for me.