There’s creating content for Artprof.org (the easy part) and then there’s getting the word out. I don’t exactly have a degree in communications, so everything I’ve done in terms of marketing has had to be learned on the go. That means learning literally everything the hard way.
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is the degree of disappointment and rejection the world is capable of. I thought I had experienced plenty of rejection working for over a decade in academia and the art world, two fields which are notorious for the immense amount of rejection people experience. However, all of that pales in comparison to what I’ve gone through for Art Prof.
There have been so many situations where I was certain that I had something in the bag, only to have people disappear without any warning. There was an article in the NY Times this week about ghosting, and although the article was talking about ghosting among personal relationships, it happens just as often in professional settings.
Naively, I assumed for the longest time that once I managed to get a reporter on the phone, (which sometimes took 9 months of constant prodding) that the article was going to be written. Nope. I once did a 45 minute phone interview with a reporter from a major newspaper in the US, and then 2 follow up emails later…. nothing. That wasn’t an isolated experience either, it’s happened on several occasions!
Those phone interviews are the very few instances among hundreds of others that never come to any fruition. For every 200 emails I send (this number is not an exaggeration) I am thanking my lucky stars if I get even 1 positive reply. Even that positive reply can dissolve quickly into nothing. I’ve had reporters write me highly enthusiastic emails, say they would get back to me, and then just disappear.
So now, I don’t believe anything anyone tells me until I actually see the article in print. Even so, the universe still surprises me on occasion.
I was convinced that one contact had totally slammed the door shut. The best way I can describe it is this is a contact I had an in person “date” with that went incredibly well. I left the meeting convinced that I had made it far enough to at the very least warrant a reply afterwards. Getting to a phone call is a big deal, but an in person is meaningful. 3 followup emails, 9 months later, nothing.
Then yesterday I got an email from them.
Now with the door back open, here I am fantasizing of having 10 kids and growing old together with this contact. Except that we haven’t even been on a second “date” yet. That’s how far away this is. If this works out the way it has the potential to, it could be a very, very big deal. I’m not talking about one splashy press piece, this would be seismic.
Do I dare to hope?