Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Prince vs. Rogue

In 2004, as I prepared to join the ranks of authors who do school visits, I was aware that my books to date did not have a high recognition factor. (Read: no one had heard of me.) I needed to stand out in some other way.

So I worked up a theme (other than my work itself) and drew two characters to cutely (or so I thought) represent that theme:

The title I gave my presentation:

"The Prince of Persistence vs. The Rogue of Rejection School Visit: The Hits and Misses of a Professional Writer/Cartoonist"

It’s about a paragraph too long.

As if that alone wasn’t wordy enough, here was what appeared directly under it on the first flyer I sent out:

My name is Marc Tyler Nobleman. At first glance, I’m an author and cartoonist. Underneath, I am also the Prince of Persistence and the Rogue of Rejection. These two are constantly competing within me, and within any creative person. Over the years, my Prince has learned how to vanquish my Rogue. I like to tell the story how.

I’d be thrilled to visit your school to talk with your students on practicing persistence, handling rejection, and enjoying the process through them both. All who attend should come away believing that their Princes (or Princesses) can have the same luck mine has had as they pursue their dreams—even if they don’t want to write or draw for a living.

On one level, this doesn’t even make sense. The Prince of Persistence can live within any of us; the Rogue of Rejection, however, is within some of the people to whom we send our work. My Prince and Rogue are not two sides to one person, as I clumsily thought; rather they are, simply, two different people. In other words, we don’t reject our own work.

Hey, I meant well.

Amazingly, one school of the first 400 I approached made it through that flyer yet still booked me. I revamped the flyer considerably for round 2.

My school presentations still revolve around these two ideas, but I’ve long since retired the Prince and the Rogue. Obviously I’ve retained a fondness for them or else I wouldn’t have trotted them back out for this post. (I am the only one who could because I’m the only one who remembers them!)

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