Monthly Archives: September 2014

American Jedi

American Jedi

In 2007 I approached several literary agents in the hopes of getting my work out there on a professional platform. Most ignored the query, the easiest form of rejection. One agent requested a book proposal. I happily give her my proposal. My hopes were dashed when I was told I had a very long way to go before I would even be considered for publication. It hurt. She gave me some helpful criticism, but I was heartbroken.

Seven years have gone by and I have never submitted anything to any literary agents since. Fear held me back. I was not ready. I still had a long way to go. Fear told me the futility of my actions. More training was required. More time was needed. More research. More Preparation. More Study. More writing. More  … oh what is the point? Why more of anything when the outcome is inevitable? Fear was a readily available adviser. Quick to inform me of the dangers of action. 

Of course, as the picture states, Fear Is A Liar. Or as another picture I like, False Evidence Appearing Real. It was conjuncture. I was scared of facing that rejection again. But the lesson isn’t in NOT feeling afraid, the lesson is understanding what that means. Fear may be a liar in these types of cases. But that is because we forget that fear is just a reminder. Stove hot, hot burns, burns damage and hurt, be careful.

Putting yourself and your hard work out there for others to judge can come with some fear. People can be harsh and rejection is not what anyone is seeking when they share their work. So there is a fear of failing and falling short. Because once again, that damages, that hurts. 

But it is also a valuable lesson. Not something to hold us back. We burn ourselves on the stove, we do not stop cooking for the rest of our lives. We simply learn and become more careful when using the stove. We learn and grow. This applies to my case as well. I took it my rejection as a learning experience. Fear has held my hand back more than once in my life. But it did not do it yesterday when I submitted my work to the same Agent who rejected me seven years ago.

I don’t have an outcome for you yet. More rejection? Certainly possible. I know i still have a lot of growth and progress to go through. I know I am still a development project. I am no Jedi master. I am just a guy living his dream to the best of his ability. And I fail in that at times. I feel my work and journey is worth sharing, but do others? Time will tell. And I’ll let you know how things shake out with that Agent. 

 

For years I dealt with the online Jedi Community. I fought with them, I argued, I drove myself crazy trying to get them to understand. That was my mistake. Because over the years something became very clear. And that is what is above. At first I was wrong, then I wasn’t doing good enough, then they could do it better. The whole time I kept moving forward and the cycle has continued. Because as people get to where you were, you have already moved on. And once again you are wrong. The secret is not to pay attention to that back-chatter. To simply keep moving forward. Not to give-up because others don’t understand where you are at. It is YOUR journey. Your benchmark is your own standards. Keep grinding, keep pushing, keep moving forward. 

The Challenge:

Be Positive when Depressed.
Work on Your Dream When You Least Feel Like It.
Stand Tall When You are Down.
Embrace How You Feel, Accept It, and Move Forward Regardless.

I have found myself in a pool of stagnation emotionally and mentally. This of course leads to physical stagnation. I fell into the trap and let my practices slip. Depression, financial well-being concerns, lack of progress by my standards and desires. Time to throw it all away. Retreat into my corner of the world and simply be Joe Shmoe. Drift through life. Work whatever job provides enough to eat my fast food and watch my netflixs. Maybe enough to enjoy some MMORPG of choice and just be that. Wake-up, go to work, come home, sit down in front of the computer, go to bed, repeat. Don’t get me wrong. I could live that life easily. At one point in my life it was all I wanted. I could have died happy that way. No regrets.

Problem is I have long since dedicated myself to a different path in life. I gave my life to the dreamer in me. The kid who believes that miracles can happen. That if you dream and work hard enough you can achieve anything in the universe. It is this dreaming that gives me full belief in the Jedi Path. But belief alone is just a personal thing. Because I believe in it does not mean others should. I am similar. I do not take people’s faith as a reason to have faith my self. I look for something a bit more.

Now I did let my practices slip. I did not stop, quit, or give-up, merely haven’t kept up as I know I should. The result only adds to those feelings of defeatism and depression. Ignoring them or trying blind optimism is silly in my opinion. Don’t force yourself to smile if you feel like crying. Cry. Wash your face. And attack the day. Not anger or aggression, but determination and tenacity.

So I “write until my fingers look like a bouquet of roses.” I’ll keep you updated.

The Challenge: was originally published on 365 Jedi

The Challenge:

Be Positive when Depressed.
Work on Your Dream When You Least Feel Like It.
Stand Tall When You are Down.
Embrace How You Feel, Accept It, and Move Forward Regardless.

I have found myself in a pool of stagnation emotionally and mentally. This of course leads to physical stagnation. I fell into the trap and let my practices slip. Depression, financial well-being concerns, lack of progress by my standards and desires. Time to throw it all away. Retreat into my corner of the world and simply be Joe Shmoe. Drift through life. Work whatever job provides enough to eat my fast food and watch my netflixs. Maybe enough to enjoy some MMORPG of choice and just be that. Wake-up, go to work, come home, sit down in front of the computer, go to bed, repeat. Don’t get me wrong. I could live that life easily. At one point in my life it was all I wanted. I could have died happy that way. No regrets.

Problem is I have long since dedicated myself to a different path in life. I gave my life to the dreamer in me. The kid who believes that miracles can happen. That if you dream and work hard enough you can achieve anything in the universe. It is this dreaming that gives me full belief in the Jedi Path. But belief alone is just a personal thing. Because I believe in it does not mean others should. I am similar. I do not take people’s faith as a reason to have faith my self. I look for something a bit more.

Now I did let my practices slip. I did not stop, quit, or give-up, merely haven’t kept up as I know I should. The result only adds to those feelings of defeatism and depression. Ignoring them or trying blind optimism is silly in my opinion. Don’t force yourself to smile if you feel like crying. Cry. Wash your face. And attack the day. Not anger or aggression, but determination and tenacity.

So I “write until my fingers look like a bouquet of roses.” I’ll keep you updated.