I’ve gone over this love story before, but I think it’s worth rehashing.
2012 started with a bang. I went to Mardi Gras, SXSW and ran a half marathon. It was weekend after weekend of total-utta-insanity. Then BLAMMO, I had a minor case of post-running depression. I needed something to funnel all my energy into. I decided to do something about an I idea I had been mulling around for the last year or so, but didn't do anything with because starting is hard and it requires starting.
I decided during a conversation with my good friend Amy, that I would do a bazillion drawings in April. It would be like training. I had to it even when I'd rather be sleeping or at the pub. I used the same discipline that got me out of bed to do 10 miles in order to draw pictures of human measuring sticks. I’d casually post these short people drawings to the blog day after day.
I did it. It was hard. I didn’t always want to stay up late working on them. I wondered what was getting into me. Who did I think I was? There was absolutely no reason to believe this would pan out and become anything at all. Since I deiced to start somewhere—anywhere, I was allowed to make stupid bad drawings. And I did. And they're still up.
Something inside me knew it was a good idea and I had to do it. I can’t describe it other than delusion.
Nobody knew I was staying up late in hopes that it would one day turn it into a book. I figured I'd self-publish on Blurb and maybe down the road a little birdie (yeah, a real bird) would drop it on the desk of a major editor in New York (smoking a cigar with his feet up on the table during a business meeting. “STOP THE PRESS! We have a better one! Clarence! Call Ms. Murphy immediately!”).
Chad knew what to do. He writes and he told me I should submit to agents after I had about 30 posted (100 was the intention from the start).
I went to his house on a sunny Saturday afternoon the first week of May. He helped me write the query to submit to agents. I remember walking with him to the gas station down the road while he bought
cigarettes (or some sort of lung poison) peach tea as we discussed my project. He encouraged me (classic Chad) and told me that someone would catch on to this idea.
I tried to guard my heart the way they tell you to in junior high youth group. Except my heart was my heart and the boy was a book.
It took everything in me to not tell anyone; this thing was too big. I felt like I would jinx it if I said it out loud.
I expected to wait weeks or months, but after submitting my query, I got an email the next day.
From Laurie, my agent.
I feel like a jerk sometimes when I tell this story because it worked out so well for me. Beyond Laurie emailing me, the process has worked out seamlessly and taken almost as little time as it could have for being a book (still takes forever). Plume didn't buy I'D RATHER BE SHORT because I was the best applicant; I was the only applicant. It was my idea and all I had to do was try. I used my gifts and my uniqueness the only way I knew how.
If I was born seven feet tall and loved hula hooping plus magic shows, I hope I would have done something with that too.
Don't write this off because it sounds cliché: delusion bridges the gap between dreaming and doing. What's your story?
*photos are taken in my Waco apartment at the end of the book process. Twitter & Insta: @beckycmurphy