Anyway, I’ve gotten off track.
Rejection sucks … especially if it’s a zombie sucking out your eyeball then spewing it up.
When you go after a goal or dream, there is a VERY good chance you will cop some rejection. People might tell you that there’s no chance you will reach your goal. You might not make the team you were trying to get on. People might tell you that the cake you made tastes terrible and is too dense. You might send your stories to publishers over 200 times and they might say no over 200 times and you might cry a little bit and lock yourself in your room and not talk to anyone for at least three months … you know, there might be someone like that somewhere, but I was really just making stuff up hahahaha!
No. I’ll be honest. I have had over 200 rejections of my stories. Some were nice. Some were not so nice. One said my writing was really annoying.
But that isn’t terrible, that’s AWESOME!!!!! Well, actually, it’s both. It’s terrible because it’s REALLY hard when people say they don’t like something you create. But it’s awesome that I have that many, because it means I didn’t give up! If I’d had one rejection, that would mean I tried once, failed and then quit because it was too hard.
Yeah, well zombies don’t quit!!! If they miss out on one brain, they go after another, and they keep going until they get a brain … well, that or they get their heads chopped off.
See, if you are going after something you really want, the rejections can make you work harder. They can make you more determined. They can make you get better. They can make you look at what you need to do to get to where you want to be.
The thing is though, if you’re getting all these rejections, you can’t keep doing the same thing. You have to cook the cake differently. You have to get fitter or stronger or more skilled. You have to work on your writing or send it somewhere else.
Albert Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. This was before the zombies got him. After that he just said, “Braaaaaaiiiiiinnnnnnssssss.”
But human Albert was right. You can keep the same goal, but sometimes you have to look at getting there a different way.
Don’t let the rejections stop you. Let them drive you further than you ever thought you could go.
Don’t let the haters get you down.
Haters gonna hate hate hate hate hate.
That’s Taylor Swift right there. She’s right. She’s always right. She’s a champion.
Okay, I’m done. I have to listen to my Taylor Swift collection.
So what can we learn about resting? Taking time out? Taking a break? Well, I can learn a lot, because I don't do it that often, which means sometimes I get sick. We have to take time to rest.
See, zombies are always on the move, always shuffling slowly forward, but this is their relaxing. They're chillin'. This is like the stage where you're taking a day off, but you're still open to new ideas coming in.
Then, when a zombie sees a human it wants to connect with, as in by biting its brain, then it is full on go and get 'em, tiger! This is like the stage where you get an idea, or where you're on a work or school day. Now you can go full on at it because tyou're well rested and raring to go, and you can get it done and make it awesome!
Resting is also awesome for GETTING ideas and answers. Some of the most awesome people in the world say that they get their best ideas when they're relaxing, or skiing, or running, or going for a walk. If you're actually looking for an answer to something, sometimes the best way to find it is to get out of there and relax. Go for a run. Play a game. Take a nap. More often than not, that's when the answer wil;l hit you between the eyes like a zombie trying to get its hand inside your skull.
So work hard when it's work time, but learn to relax too. And yes, I'm talking to me as much as to you about this. And yes, talking to myself might mean I'm a little bit crazy, but it also means there's one more person who can warn myself about a zombie attack!
Ha. See? Saved myself.
SLast week, I was lucky enough to go to Bayswater West Primary school, which was actually where I did my teaching rounds like 12 years ago, before the zombie apocalypse, and they had gone the extra mile! They had an awesome display set up in the library, and a few of the kids had answered the The Zombie Inspiration Fast Question Challenge!
Here are some of their answers!
Q: Do you have a plan in place for the zombie apocalypse?
Answers: Yes. To stay alive.
No, because I doubt an apocalypse!
Q: If zombies take over the world, and you're living in a cave, what three things could you not do without?
Answers: Family, lifetime supply of food, weapons.
Unlimited donuts, my family, pugs.
Food, DVDs and popcorn.
Q: If you're in that cave and zombies have taken over the world, what three famous people would you want in there with you?
Answers: Adam Wallace, some ninjas, Bear Grylls (HA!!! GOOD LUCK ZOMBIES!)
Justin Bieber, Roald Dahl, Delta Goodrem
Johnny Depp, Adam Wallace, Brad Pitt!
Q: What would smell worse - A zombie or an overworked author?
Answers: Zombie was the popular choice, but a few kids did say author ... I must have forgotten my deodorant that day!
Q: Would you kiss a zombie?
Answers: No, because they stink.
Not in a lifetime.
Q: If a zombie was about to bite your face off, what would your last words be?
Answers: MIRANDA SINGS!
I really do deserve this because I am rather naughty!
So what would your answers be? if you feel like answering the Zombie Inspiration Fast Question Challenge, GO FOR IT! You can send your answers to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Can't wait to read them! Have an awesome week!
WOOOOOO HOOOOOO!!! Sorry, had to get that out. Anyway, This is another post on heroes, but this time it looks at how there are celebrities out there, musicians, who know zombies. Who get that we need to follow the zombie lifestyle to be totally awesome.
It's true!!!! I mean, sometimes they may say it without realising it, but that's awesome too! They know it deep down in their tasty guts! Okay, let's check this out ...
There are more heroes of mine that understand the zombie lifestyle, but that's enough for today! I have to go and listen to some Sia (The Greatest and Alive are first), Taylor (Shake it Off and We are Never Ever Getting Back Together) and Foo Fighters (Best of You and Times Like These) now to get me pumped for another awesome zombie-life day!!!!!!!!!!
Now go get 'em, Tiger!!!!!!!
(Note: I can't remember where I found the Sia and Taylor Swift pics online, so apologies to whoever put them up because I can't attribute them to you. The Foo Fighters one is all mine. Yeah. See the quality).
ZOMBIES - Der. Of course. That's what this is all about. There are so many reasons zombies are my heroes, but I am going to go for this one today - they don't pretend to be anyone other than their true selves. Sure, they could maybe use some deoderant, but you know, you can't win 'em all.
NINJAS - Another no-brainer. ninjas are super awesome! One thing that I really like about ninjas though is that they know that the best way to get better at something is to learn how to do it and then practice it over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. And then again. This works for ANYTHING! Want to get better at drawing or writing or bike riding or chess or cooking or your times tables or golf or ANYTHING, find out how to do it and then practice until your brain and your body knows it without you even thinking.
ANDY GRIFFITHS/TERRY DENTON - As a children's author in Australia, it's hard not to have these guys as heroes. They are like the gold standard. But they are my heroes not just for their writing and illustrating (which is AWESOME, by the way), but for how they are with their fans. This is one of the things I really want to be the best at. They always have time for their fans, they will sit for hours signing and talking, and they play! A bit like zombies, they are themselves and the kids love them for that, and so do I ... like, I don't want to marry them or anything, unless, well, you know ... no! I just think they are awesome!
DOGS - Yep, dogs are my heroes! Like with zombies, there are SOOOOO many reasons dogs inspire me, and why I would like to be more like them. Sniffing a butt and eating spew are not two of the reasons, but here's one inspiring thing! Dogs do things like it is THE BEST THING IN THE WORLD TO DO and so they have so much fun and they give it everything!!!! That is inspiring! I want to be like that with everything! When I play, when I write, whatever I do I want to be right in it and giving it everything because I am loving it so much! This is a choice. It might not seem like it, but we can choose to be excited and have fun with something, or we can choose for it to be a chore. Choose exciting. Choose dog!
BRUCE LEE - Okay. Last one. Bruce Lee comes a close third behind zombies and dogs as the biggest influence on me. He is not just a martial arts superstar champion, but a superstar champion person as well. He is basically a combination of all of the above things. He was true to himself, he practiced over and over and over and over and over and over again, he was awesome with his fans and people he taught, and he looooooved doing what he did!!!
But that's me. Who are your heroes????????
Nope, pretty much all the time, the ones who survive are the ones who do the scary thing ... they go out on their own. It seems scarier because there are less people to protect you ... and less people for the zombies to eat before they go after you! But as scary as it can feel, standing out from the crowd and taking risks and being different, it's where greatness lies!
It's sometimes where zombies lie too, but in that case you just go somewhere else!
The thing is, it's way easier to follow the crowd, to do what they do, to fit in, to fly under the radar, but then you're living someone else's life. To really be great, to really be AWESOME, to really not have your nostrils bitten off, standing out is where the greatness lies.
Take my career of choice, writing. If I just write what everyone else writes, for starters I would be BORED OUT OF MY BRAIN because I would be writing what I thought I should and acting how I thought I should and trying to fit in to someone else's idea of how I should write rather than being myself. For seconds, how do I get noticed that way? How do I stand out from the thousands of other stories that are getting sent in to publishers or shown to kids in schools?
Yes, it's scarier sometimes, and yes it has still meant I have had OVER 200 REJECTIONS, because sometimes it's scary for businesses to gt on board with people who are standing out, because what they know works is what they know works, and something different can seem risky ... BECAUSE IT IS!
But it's also where people can change the world, it's where the excitement is, that feeling of creating something new that no one has ever done before, of creating something that you really believe in and that you are driven to create because it is inside you waiting to burst free..
And when you can do that, even if the rest of the world doesn't get on board, even if it goes nowhere ... at least you will have had an amazing time creating it and letting it out into the world, and at least you will have been true to yourself and at least you will survive the apocalypse!!!
HA! TAKE THAT, PEOPLE IN THE BIG CITIES ALL GROUPING TOGETHER LIKE YOU'RE HASH BROWNS AT THE SHERATON!!!
And on that note, have an amazing week, and never let the fear of standing out stop you from being you! Because seriously, if we can do nothing else AMAZING in our lives, we can do that.
We can see zombies never give up, even when they get a ninja star thrown into their eyeball. Even when they can't see the ninjas. Even when they get their head sliced off by a ninja sword ... okay, so they might give up then, but only because they can't find their head!
We also see the ninjas using skills they have worked on over and over and over and over again. We see them moving like the quietest butterfly landing on the softest flower ... and then slicing its head off. We see them throwing ninja stars into a zombie's eyeball from 37 metres away, which is amazingly awesome!
But all that aside, I am here to compare zombies against ninjas. I'm NOT going to try and guess who would win a fight between a zombie and a ninja, that's for the UFC to show when they adjust their rules and let zombies and ninjas in. Seriously. If it's an ULTIMATE fighting championship without ninjas and zombies, is it really ultimate? I don't think so. Anyway. The thing is, if you look at any awesome champion, you will notice similarities between them. Let's compare the inspirational traits of zombies and ninjas and, just for fun, world famous piano players as well!
So there you go! As you can see, awesomeness comes in many forms, but underlying the awesomeoness are similar traits. But now it's time for the ULTIMATE question! Who would win a fight between a ninja, a zombie and a piano player? Take the survey below to answer!
It's the same for all of us. If we have a goal, or a dream, or just something we have to get done by a certain time, we've gotta keep shuffling. If you want to be a writer, the best place to start is writing every day. Work on your craft, improve your skills, do it every day. It may seem like nothing is happening, but it will be. Little steps every day, little changes, all add up to big changes over time. And sometimes your skills only improve bit by bit and then suddenly take a huge leap, which is actually really thrilling. I have heard Robert .Rodriguez, director of movies such as Sin City and the Spy Kids phenomonen, talking about this from when he was a cartoonist, and it's brilliant. He's brilliant.
Robin Sharma talks about working on your craft every day, saying if you can improve by only 1% every day, after one year you are suddenly 365% better than you were at the start of the year!!! That's a lot of percent!
Yes, I know, I hear ya, there are some things you can't and shouldn't do every day, like massive exercise, your body needs some rest, but there is always something you can do, so ner. On your days off you could research different exercises, or go for a leisurely walk, head to the beach, do something that will still help towards your goal but isn't the full-on stuff you generally do.
The thing is, if you're always building up your skills, always working on your craft, getting that 10,000 hours of practise in, when the big opportunity you've been waiting for arrives, you're ready to go.. The big race meet, or the school concert, or the weigh-in, or the X-Factor auditions, or the call for submissions, or whatever, you're ready to go!
I got over 200 rejections from publishers when I started out, and over all those 8 years I was writing and drawing every single day, sometimes a little bit, sometimes a lot, and eventually, when I got picked up for one book, I had heaps more ready to go. This meant I had one book published in the first eight years of my career, and 35 published in the next eight!
Not only that, but when I started drawing, one character would take me three or four weeks to create, and now I can do them in a day or two. This is only because I have drawn every day, and worked on my craft every day, so that now in the back of my subconcious I have built up skills I can call on when I need them, and the characters almost draw themselves now (they still start off looking REALLY BAD though!!! It's just quicker to go from REALLY BAD to pretty cool!).
So that's it for today. If you really want to improve at something, work on it. Do small things every day that keep you moving towards whatever your target is, and it will happen. And if you aim for small things, some days those small things will multiply into big things as fast as the zombie virus. 1000 words becomes 2000 words because you're in the flow. A 10 minute run becomes a 20 minute run because you felt so good.
So have fun, work on your craft, and keep shuffling!!!!!
(PS to hear one of Australia's finest athor/illustrators talking about working on your craft every day, check out my interview with Gabrielle Wang HERE. She's a star).
Sooooooo ... that's why you need classes! We're scared of looking silly and getting things wrong. We think we can't do things because we can't do them as well as the best in the world, or even as well as other people we know.
You know who doesn't care about this? ZOMBIES!!!! They never think a certain human is too hard to catch, or that they won't be able to get them.. They go after every person like they have no doubt they are going to catch them.
But what if they don't catch them? Oh no. Failure. AAAAGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!
Hang on. Wait. What do they do next? They see another human and they go after them!
They try again and they keep trying until they get a brain and then they eat it like it's the best meal ever!
They don't care if it's hard or if they may not be able to do it. They give it a go and they keep trying until they succeed.
Hmmmmmm. There might be something to that. The thing is, saying you can't do something is totally true. We can't do HEAPS of things! But that doesn't mean we shouldn't try and try and try again until we CAN do them! Can't doesn't matter unless it stops you trying.
So don't ignore the voice in your head that says you can't do something. Listen to it, laugh at it, bite its face off and eat its brain!
Then get out there and try and try again until you CAN do it!
***Note: If the little voice saying you can't do something is actually another person, don't bite their face off and eat their brains. Unless you're a zombie. In that case, go for it! Also, well done on being able to read this. I'm impressed!
It's the same with people in a zombie movie. See, in pretty much EVERY single zombie movie or TV show, the people who die first are the ones in the big cities. They're in big groups, thinking that sticking together and following the crowd and being the same as everyone else will help them. Safety in numbers, that kind of thing. They laugh at the people who go off on their own. They call them crazy.
But the thing is, it's the crazy ones out on their own who are ALWAYS the ones who are alive at the end. The big crowd of people? They're breakfast.
It's like this in life. It feels safer to be part of the crowd, to follow the mob, to not stand out. If you stand out you're vulnerable. You risk being laughed at. But you realise that if you do what everyone else does, you get what everyone else gets, and in the case of a zombie movie, that means you get a pretty messed-up brain.
The really great people, the ones who we look on as heroes and geniuses, they went away from the crowds. They put in more work than everyone else. They went after their dreams. They took a chance where others backed off and played it safe. They wrote stories and painted paintings in styles no one had ever done before.
And mostly they were laughed at. But the things they were laughed at for at the start are now the EXACT SAME things that make them great. The things they did that made them stand out are now what everyone else does!
The thing is, you have to be ready to stand out from the crowd if you want greatness. You have to be YOU, and you have to believe that the skills and traits you have are the ones that will take you wherever you want to go. You don't have to be like everyone else. You really don't. Especially if being like everyone else, writing the same stories, travelling the same path, means that you're holding back the real you, holding back on going for the dreams that make you sing inside.
You have to let that song out.
You have to take the risk and move away from everyone else and be the person you know you can be. It's hard and scary and you may get laughed at or shouted down, but if you really believe in something, if it drives you and fulfills you and makes you smile every time you think of doing it, you just have to do it.
Life's too short.
Especially when there are zombies about!
Articles. Videos. Interviews. Superstars.