If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.
If you’re into self development, you’ve probably heard this saying a few times – and it’s certainly worth remembering. Some of the best moments in life are the ones where that light bulb suddenly pings on and you suddenly realise – Wait a minute, I don’t have to do this!
Whether it’s a negative relationship you have with yourself or with others, a job that’s grinding you down, or simply a path that just isn’t working, once you hit that tipping point there’s often no turning back. It then takes brazen honesty to see it and some serious guts to change it.
Money in your mind
A few years ago I wrote a piece of flash fiction, which I illustrated and made into a 2-page comic strip. I didn’t know it consciously at the time, but it was about my attitudes to money. In short, it’s a story about a magpie with a nose for finding priceless jewels, but her cruel owner takes advantage of her talents to only make himself richer.
It came from a time where I felt I was giving a lot in a job and felt like I was getting nowhere in return. Who hasn’t been there? The story had an ambiguous ending, where the magpie didn’t really win. She remained in status quo, in the grip of her owner – an exact reflection of my feelings at the time.
Rewriting your story
When I revisited the story a few years later, I re-wrote it into a short book and created a happy ending – one where the magpie realised she didn’t have to work for someone else who didn’t appreciate her, and that she could use her talents to create her own financial destiny.
From this I learnt that:
Re-writing your story is a fantastic technique for gaining clarity and overcoming challenges.
Whether you re-write something that actually happened to you, or a piece of fiction that reflects your life, writing the ending that you want to happen not only feels really empowering, but it also helps you build a strong emotional connection to the outcome you wish for in your life.
I’d recommend to anyone to try it!
If you want to know more about the magpie’s story, read on…
Here are the preparatory sketches, where I was working out the story and each cell on the page.
I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, and it was the first time I’d ever attempted a comic strip. So, needless to say, it took me forever!
I wanted to give up a few times, whenever my confidence gnawed at me, but I persevered and managed to create something I was surprised by and pleased with.
A few years later I re-discovered it while rummaging and decided I wanted to experiment with getting a book printed, but at a low-cost. So I amended the text and adjusted the images for book format, and used Bonusprint’s photobook creator to make the book. I also changed the title and adjusted the content and ending, as I felt it could do with some improvements.
And so The Mischievous Magpie was born.
Struggling to make ends meet from his research, a Victorian Doctor of Geology has turned to a life of crime – stealing precious stones and artifacts, with the help of his pet magpie’s enchanted beak. Now he has become greedy and Magsy must choose – will she continue to use her gift to help the selfish and cruel Doctor Mendax?
Take a look!
I designed the front and back covers myself, with the intention of making it look slightly Victorian in style. The title font ‘Fortunaschwein’ belongs to a very talented German designer and self-confessed ‘fontaholic’ who goes by the name of Anke-Art. Take a look at her site for fun designs and creative fonts!
The next step was to publish it on Kindle Direct Publishing. I felt that I really needed to follow through and make a statement to myself to put my work out there. Once I did, it felt like letting go of all the struggles that inspired the story in the first place.