Your Path Is Your PathMar 09, 2021
There is something deeply satisfying about this work, and yet something about it that feels so unsettling. It speaks to me in that visceral sense, where I may not have the exact right words to put to it, but the emotions are there.
I like it, but is it enough? Do these mere five elements qualify as a work of art?
Technically, the act of putting paper to glue and sticking the one thing to another is all it takes to be a collage. But is this collage lacking? Is it enough? Does it deserve the same recognition or level of attention of a more complicated arrangement?
Sitting in on the very first Author University mixer this afternoon, under the umbrella of Penguin Random House, the publisher who bought my old publisher, I felt these questions deep within me. Not about the art, but about me.
Am I enough? Do I qualify to be here? I didn’t come about my role as an author in the same way these other writers had. No agent. No query letter- except by way of being contacted by my editor and invited to submit one. Technically I have a book that was legit published by a legit publisher. Technically I am now a Penguin Random House author. But do I deserve that title in the same way someone who took the more traditional path?
When I confessed I was feeling this insecurity, the one commonly known as Imposter Syndrome, during one of the breakout sessions and explained that I don’t have an agent and my editor is no more, and the old publisher approached me instead of the other way around- I was met with an enthusiastic round of assurance that I very much belonged.
It was a great reminder and much needed today. Your path is your path. It doesn’t matter if what it took to get here looks different than what anyone thought it should. It doesn’t matter if what you do and how you do it is radically different than what is considered the norm. It doesn’t matter if some think you took shortcuts and some won’t acknowledge the amount of work it took. It doesn’t matter if your journey was a mere five steps or if it took you an extra fifty. What matters is that you are here. You made it to this place.
And you very much belong.