Tuesday, May 26, 2015

On Setting a Love Free - An Update

I know you've heard that old adage, “if you love something, set it free” probably more than once -- and with good reason. It tends to be true. For so many romance comic book characters, setting a loved one free (for whatever reason) is the best thing they ever did, and most of the time, brings them closer to their true path. I am writing this today because I have set something free in my own life, and I want to tell you about it.

Things have been tough. Really tough, actually; mostly courtesy of “career” stuff, AKA the Day Job. As many of you know, I was trained in museum studies. I was fortunate enough to work in the field for many years at some amazing institutions, but since moving to Nashville, I've been unable to find employment in a museum. After two years of volunteering, networking, meetings, interviews, an intense amount of gumption, and doing everything I could to find a museum job here, it has become clear that it is not in the cards. Frankly, I give up. Now, I don't usually encourage people to give up on things, but sometimes, it can be the best course of action. Allow me to explain.

Giving up hope of working in a museum as a day job (at least right now) has been a recent development. Perhaps not surprisingly, the moment I did give up that hope and expectation for myself, I suddenly felt free. Free to focus on the REAL work that is my life’s mission and passion -- comic books! Now, I still need to find a day job that is at least a little less soul crushing than my current one, but in the meantime, I'm going to try to make the best out of everyday and remember that all those years of museum work prepared me to curate and share my love of comic books and history.

Museums are just one of my loves.

I'm telling you all this because you and I, dear readers, go way back! Plus, I have so many creative friends out there, and I know I always find it helpful to read about their struggles and how they've overcome them to do awesome things. I also want to take this opportunity to segue into telling y'all more about the book I've been working on for a while now. 

About two years ago, I began writing a book pitch for a manuscript on a complete history of the 1960s and '70s romance comics. I intended it to be glorious and wonderful, and naturally, so good that no publisher could pass it up. And while I do think it was quite good and I did my very best to make it a stellar document, it straddled the line between too academic and the voice I use here at Sequential Crush. I sent it to a few agents and though not typically advised, directly to a few publishers. I actually got some really great feedback, so not all was lost, but ultimately, no one was interested. After not getting any bites, I retooled the book idea, and decided to really narrow in on one component of the romance comics… the advice columns! It will be a smaller, illustrated book that will cover the wisdom of the romance comics, and show that though some of the advice is dated, much of it is timeless. I still have every intention of writing the larger book in the future, because I believe a complete history of the 1960s and 1970s is vital to the preservation of the genre.

As for the advice book -- I don't have a final title for it yet, but I am done writing the first draft and am in the editing process. Once the writing is polished, I will begin working on the design aspect of the book. I plan on doing a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to help fund the illustrator/designer, as well as help with printing costs since I will be self-publishing. I hope that when that day comes, you might consider donating a little somethin’ somethin’!

I am so looking forward to finishing this book. Not only will it feel great to complete a large project, I feel like this book is just the start and will help get the ball rolling on all the other book projects and ideas I have up my sleeve. In the meantime, I'm excited about my decision to let go of the expectation for myself to have a day job in a museum, and all the emotional exhaustion that went with it. Maybe in the future that love will return, but for now, the comic books fully and completely have my heart.

Thank you all for sticking with me on this journey -- you are the best! I promise it will be worth it!

Thanks so much for reading!
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26 comments:

  1. ... signed, Nascent of Nashville! You are always an inspiration, Jacque! Love the post!

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    1. Thank you so much, KB! You are always a source of great support!!!

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  2. I so look forward to reading your forthcoming book, Jacque! Thanks for all your hard work in preserving the genre, we'll be here to support you each step of the way!

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    1. Aww, that means so much, Eleanor! :) :) :)

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  3. I can't wait to see the kickstarter campaign you come up with :)

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    1. Thank you, Laura! It will be my first time doing one, so I expect it to be a big learning experience, and hopefully, fun to boot!

      I love your illustrations/graphic design btw -- so cute!!!

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  4. Dear Jacque: Hi!

    Thanks for sharing with us readers how your career path is going. It can be hard to give up on a dream, but sometimes it does make sense, especially when the energy you're expending doesn't seem to be paying off at present.

    So it's a great alternative to do what you're doing--focus on a dream outside of work instead! The book idea sounds very interesting; I've always enjoyed the advice pages you've shared here on the blog.

    We never know what the future may bring. I have a feeling there may be both an exciting museum job and a published history of 1960s-70s romance comics somewhere in your future!

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    1. Thank you, David for being a constant source of support and thoughtful commentary here at Sequential Crush! Whenever I see that you've left a comment, I always look forward to reading it :)

      We don't know what the future will bring, such a good point. So I choose to be open and go with where things are taking me -- and luckily, I feel like it is to a really rewarding place!

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  5. I know what it's like to have a career planned and have it not work out, after a lot of time, sweat, tears and work invested.
    I ended up doing something else.
    My father used to say, "Life is what happens to you while you're making other plans."
    Still, you have plenty of time, and you still might achieve your chosen profession, or another one even more fulfilling. I'm sure it will be interesting, Jacque.
    It could be an adventure.
    I've enjoyed your blog and wish you the best!
    Y'know, I've been toying with the idea of writing a book myself! Chronicling my amazing adventures! Great minds think alike.
    Hang in there, kiddo!
    m.p.

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    1. I am comforted to know that this is something that lots of people go through (yourself included), and so many have come out better off than where they were.

      Thank you so much, m.p.! Best of luck to you too and yay! Definitely write a book!!!

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  6. Hey Jacque in 2002 I quit working a grueling job in a weld-shop because it was sapping my physical strength & wearing me out mentally... I moved to a new town, became an Electrician's Apprentice & also worked part-time night jobs washing dishes & bussing tables... Two secrets I can share via old-age & wisdom are: Take naps ! Using Energy creates energy, but naps are essential for getting major bang for yer buck outta every dang day. 2) Never stop thinking about your current passion project. By keeping it in your thoughts, it helps you stay focused and on point when it's time to bust it out. I've written 9 feature-length screenplays amidst grueling hard work & dabbled quite a bit in 2-D Art & 3-D sculpture so truly, whatever menial "job" you work to provide food & shelter, the best nourishment for your soul is your passion-project in each moment. The sense of well-being you attain upon completion helps propel you into your next artistic endeavor until you are a happy addict but again, there is no slave-labor job that can drag you down unless you allow it.

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    1. Two excellent points, Lysdexicuss. I for one am a big fan of short naps, and I really do feel that they not only help with endurance throughout the day, but creativity as well. Same goes for taking walks.

      I will certainly remember your wise words, and try not let this stuff drag me down! I am very glad that you found a happy balance!!!

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  7. Brava, Jacque! As a coach, I'm a great champion for people to listen to, and make tracks towards, their "call". So glad to see you've watched the signs, and are making the new book happen. Your work on this blog is so strong that I can't wait to see this new book come out! Keep movin'!

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    1. Thank you, Ray! So glad to hear from a professional that I am on the right track! Thank you for reading and for your continued support!!!

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  8. Thank you, everyone who took the time to read this post. Your kind words and encouragement mean so much to me!!!

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  9. Jacque,

    I think I've been along for the ride since day one and I have complete confidence in your abilities. You've studied, shared and contributed much in the past few years, and your knowledge of romance comics has been on display here for all to see. I've learned a great deal and I'm sure will learn much more in the years to come.

    Navigating through life is rarely easy but it looks like you're on the right track. Stay strong! you have lots of folks rooting for you, and I'm at the top steps cheering you on!

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    1. You have been around since the beginning, Nick! Your loyalty, support, and camaraderie is SO appreciated, and mutual!!!

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  10. Hang in there and keep going. The reason it didn't happen is you were limited by circumstance to one city. Good on you for pressing on with something from your passion. Can't wait to read the book, and I hope we get the full-blown history.

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    1. That is very true, Jay. Who knows what the future will bring as far as location! Thank you for your comment, and your support! Have a fantastic weekend!

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  11. Good luck, Miss. I do understand the love of comics!

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  12. I've got a comics history book coming out hopefully soon myself, so...great luck, Jacque!

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    1. Thank you, darkmark! Best of luck on your book project! Can't wait to hear more!

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  13. Hi Jacque, one of the panels in your blog post here popped up in a Facebook group, "Comic Book Historians" with some added text. Would you mind sharing the original comic book source of that top panel? Thanks!

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