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The Death Grip
As a publisher, I am generally asked the same questions often. Every author I’ve ever spoken with, every editor I’ve ever interviewed and every illustrator I’ve ever contacted has asked, “How do you go from science to running a publishing company? What inspired you to make such a leap into the literary world?” The truth is, it wasn’t well planned nor carefully orchestrated in the least. Rather, I was in a desperate creative state as I clawed to maintain my penchant for autonomy and creativity.
When I actually had to grow up, get a job and become a productive member of society, I saw my creativity and out of the box thinking slowly dwindle. The thoughts that once flowed out of my mind like a wild river came to a halt and slowed to a drip, like a leaky faucet. The growing responsibilities associated with the demands of adult life, the hustle and bustle of work pinned my creative self against the wall in a death grip. I
nearly exhaled my last creative breath. I was mundane, and no one wants to be mundane. The mundane never see the truth in the world, rather they live in ignorance of the wars raging about them. I needed to do something, anything but be mundane.
Publishing: The Resurgence of the Creative Me
Self-expression, creativity and freedom of the mind used to be my outlet. How did I lose that? How did I allow life to strip me of that? Not only did I notice this demise in myself, I saw it in my friends and my family. It was like someone held a mirror up to me.
I have friends that once took pleasure in photography and enjoyed a leisure walk to capture the essence of a spring day. There were those that lost themselves in painting. Some friends had a penchant for hair styling and relished with pride in the artistry that it took to get a wash, set and blow just right. Much like I had done, they’d all begun to toss those talents to the side in lieu of a secure and structured corporate career path. All of our creative selves were dying a slow and arduous death in the name of adulthood. It didn’t happen overnight, yet I could eventually see it clear as day. I began to really understand the value that creative freedom brought to our lives. I understood why my mother so fervently supported creative thought, and she didn’t need to a stockpile of degrees to realize it. Simply put, creative expression was good for you!
I decided I would create an avenue for myself where I could write my heart out and no one could stop me. My work didn’t have to live up to the literary guidelines of a Harvard University scholar; it just had to live up to me. It didn’t matter if anyone ever saw it or even liked it, what mattered was that I got thoughts out of mind and out of my heart. I wanted a platform of expression.
That year, my partner and I released the first in a series of children’s books. While we still had work to
do in terms of honing our craft as publishers, we did it! I speak for my partner because I know we both went through the same emotional restoration in that moment. I gave my creativity CPR and was rescued from the brink of a creative death.
Since that time, our publishing company has expanded its scope considerably and now we provide these services for other people. The underlying principle however, remains the same: it’s an opportunity to create and share. Not only do I get share my own work, I have the opportunity to guide other aspiring authors in the process and it really is gratifying.
I am still performing a balancing act with publishing and my day job, but considering the alternative, it’s a balancing act that I embrace.
MBMA GROUP LLC - Directors Team