They said “No.”
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(As a visual person I’m sad to say that I have no photography relevant to this post, but here’s a flower to brighten your day.)
Almost 8 months ago I started this blog. For me it began as a creative outlet – mainly for photography. That’s why I blog, but that’s not what got me started. Something happened to tip me over the edge, to move me forward in starting the blog. Something triggered me to get going.
Something very simple.
Our children were getting older, more independent. I could see how, very soon, I would have more and more independence of my own too. And while it would be nice to think I could just waltz back into my old career, who’s going to hire a former art director that’s been a full-time stay at home mom for the past 11 years?
As a prior creative in advertising, I’m constantly thinking of tag lines, headlines, slogans, funny quips, jingles and visual puns. I secretly rate commercials. It’s what I do. Ideas for Saturday Night Live skits flow through my mind – like it’s my job or something.
And, believe me, I know I’m not alone. Creative people are everywhere. Everywhere.
So one day, about this time last year, when I had an idea for a Chick-fil-A cow commercial, it shouldn’t have been anything out of the ordinary. But it was a good idea.
So obvious and grand that I decided to contact one of Chick-fil-A’s ad agencies of record in Texas via email to share the concept.
Genius. The sheer brilliance.
That’s sarcasm people. I don’t make a habit of tooting my horn and haven’t contacted an agency for a job since quitting years ago, much less to tell them I’m a creative marvel. So what was I thinking? I was a stay at home mom. The last time I had been in a brainstorming session (with associates much more creative than me) was during the first trimester of my now 11 year old. I could barely admit to others in public that I liked to take pictures and now I’m contacting an ad agency to tell them I’m the bomb with a good idea?
All I can say is that when you hit 40 things change. A new kind of confidence (or carelessness) emerges.
I looked for the actual email exchange. I must’ve deleted it, but as I recall it went something like this…
Dear Oh Mighty Creative Ad Agency,
You don’t know me but I rock. I eat Chick-fil-A all the time and had a burst of creative inspiration whilst eating one of their tasty sandwiches last week. As a former art director I’m not just any Chick-fil-A eating numbskull who thinks they have a good idea. I actually have a good idea. An idea for a commercial with the cows.
Please contact me so I can share my great mind with you.
The marvelous mind of Amy
And their response…
Oh dear, Amy,
Thank you but we’re disinclined to acquiesce to your request.
(Yes, again sarcasm. I’m full of it.)
Of course I’m aware of all the advertising standards, policies, contracts, etc, so I shouldn’t have been surprised when I received a no. I understood and fully expected it. I’m sure they get crazies contacting them all the time.
But, still it was a good idea and I was frustrated. Angry even.
I began to stew about it. It churned my insides. Funny how it took someone saying “no, we don’t even want to hear what you think” to get me going. A conversation with myself ensued and continued over the course of weeks ’til I was convinced that they could suck it and I should open my own agency.
(For the record, I would never tell anyone to suck it. That’s just not very nice at all.)
Anyway, out of my frustration grew the desire to push past any barricade for my creativeness and do my own thing. Hence the blog, She Wears Many Hats, was born.
So thank you sweet lady from the ad agency in Texas who wouldn’t even listen to my idea.
Thanks. I now have a blog.
And not only do I have a creative outlet, but I’ve learned to spread my wings.
And yeah, my little ol’ blog is one of several hundreds of thousands, but it’s mine. Mine.
And it’s been fun – it’s made me look at every day with a different set of eyes.
And it’s made me push myself out of my comfort zone many times. It’s given me more confidence.
And while I’ll never call myself a writer (writers have editors, proofreaders, writers know how to always use perfect subject verb agreement), it’s given me a voice.
And most of all, very most of all, the one thing I never expected, is that it’s given me new friends, from everywhere. So many super, wonderful people I would’ve never met otherwise.
So thank you again advertising chick in Texas. I now have a blog, partly thanks to you.
(And I still have a great idea for a Chick-fil-A ad, so ha!)
So, tell me, what in your life has pushed you out of your comfort zone?
Or are you still stuck and need a little nudge?
Thanks for this post! Have been considering starting my own blog. I even have a name for it. The usual-for me-suspects are to blame: lazy, worried about failure, judgement of others, lazy.
I’ve read so many others’ blogs, and think, “Heck, I can do that!” Will let you know when I do. blessings on your day!
Wonderful words! Rejection by one and acceptance by you. It had to be a wonderful feeling. Is it really different at 40? If so, can you imagine what’s it’s like at 60? My daughter inspired me to get my blog started. I am still in limbo, moving slowing, but will get there. I love cooking and baking. My kitchen is the place my mind feels a freedom to create and experiment. At this age, who do you share your thoughts with about blogging? My daughter stays on me to get it done. I really appreciate her keeping me up to date. You’re never too old to learn. So I have learned so much through reading the blogs and probably have gained a few pounds with all the yummy recipes.
I started my blog when no one was ready to hire me just because I was new to the country. But then times changed and I started working. Even then I didn’t want to give up this little space of mine. Though it is a little struggle to manage family, work and blog. I am happy that I am learning something new everyday.
I am so glad that I found your blog today. Looking forward to stay in touch.
I’m so glad you posted this and have also put this in your sidebar. This is great! I love finding out why people have started to blog and what makes them tick. You are extremely creative and your blog is a great example of that. There will probably be a day in your future when someone will start coming to you and you will have the opportunity to email them back: what will you say?
Great post. Totally relate to your feelings about your career. Like you I am doing my best at finding meaning on my own terms, outside the career box. Keep on blogging! We are out here, reading!