Thursday, May 5, 2011

Line between faith and lunacy

Listen to this post:

Wednesday was an inspiring day and I mean inspiring. As in INSPIRATIONAL ... when the pieces of the puzzle begin to form a pattern you recognize, instead of the usual lunacy.

A close friend cautioned that it's not lunacy, but rather faith I have exhibited. Faith, I shirked. “You keep going even when you don't know where it leads," she said, “like how courage is doing something even when you are afraid.”  Hummmmm; the meaning is still trickling in.

Lunacy or faith?
• When I began journaling 12 years ago even though I was the journalist who never journaled. 
• When I added a visual journal.
• When I understood there was truth to be shared. Widely shared.
• When I shipped it in purple wrapping to Oprah, with postcard follow-ups, finally screwing the courage to call. “We don’t accept unsolicited materials,” the flat voice answered, triggering a flash of stacks of unopened packages like the last scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

It wasn’t ready yet, I now know.

• When I queried a handful of New York literary agents, almost neglecting one because of her reputation for not responding. I heard back in three minutes:
Dear Cathy, I'll read a section (attach it) but I have to declare I just took on a very similar work which may directly conflict with this work.
I complied and was gently deflated with:
Dear Cathy, thank you, but I feel certain, now that I've read this material, that there is a direct conflict. I'd try another agent who handles spiritual or send it … directly.
It wasn’t ready yet, I now know.

• When I met with a top spirituality editor, who praised the writing and the art, but said to re-focus and re-submit to the agent.

It wasn’t ready yet, I now know.

When, after a good re-packaging, I did:
 Dear Cathy Barney, Many thanks for contacting me about your revised proposal. I would be pleased to take a look. Attach the proposal and chapters which are ready to review.
Dear Cathy, since the proposal is the selling tool, I'll wait and when you have the proposal ready send it.
Dear Cathy Rose Barney,
Many thanks for sending your proposal which I have now read. With so many projects on the market with this theme (in particular FINDING YOUR OWN NORTH STAR) I don't think I will be successful with it. I thank you for the privilege of reading your work.
And when I asked what she would recommend:
It needs to have a special unique message.
I was crushed. Reading those e-mails now, I see they weren’t as stern and severe as I had initially believed.


  1. How gentle and caring you are Cathy and your writing and your special art reflect those qualities. Am I prejudiced? Of course, as your mother. But, I too am a writer and a seeker who cares, wants answers, yet finds that maturity brings its benefits, the best response is faith, and the greatest challenge is patience. How grateful I am you are my daughter by birth, and dear friend by our commonality. You are a blessing. Mom