34 My most important lesson of the year so far is the art of persistence. I'm calling it an art because it is one because, it's a skill that we all spend time trying to get better at this craft but, we don't always master it. I have earned the war badges that many writers (and non-writers) say your not a truly H-core artist until you receive them:the infamous rejection letters that keep piling up and, at this point I have lost count of how many I actually have.I am proud of this anti-success because I realize it is actually a sign of progress. I just keep researching opportunities and trying because, at this point in my life my desire to reach out through my stories is stronger than ever. There are so many opportunities out there for emerging artists in my community and for that, I am very fortunate. This is the time of year where many of the seasonal theatre festivals have a bunch of programs that don't start until the summertime. It has taken a while for me to feel ready to take the next big step that will be a positive step in the long term reaching out process. This is a huge step and for that you have to be a hundred percent sure that you are ready for it logically and emotionally. This next big step involves trying to work on project that will be the beginnings of artistic professionalism and will be the first step into the things that matter. When I finished my first performed play two years ago I was so cocky. I thought that, within a year I could get my stuff at Summerworks, Fringe, and well...everywhere and pursue a university degree but, now I am much wiser and know it isn't really that easy. No ones going to instantly accept your work in less your super lucky (which is rare) and this is why that logic is super naive. Not only is that view super naive but, the balance is quite difficult. I am at a point now in my university where the future constantly lingers in my mind so, now that whole getting my stuff out there thing is way more important so, when I saw the announcements about those programs my first thought was the following: why not? Reaching out is an important goal for myself and I'm sure most of the readers as well. The important thing to do is to take it in baby steps because, big things over a short period of time just don't work and are unachievable that's what these rocky yet pleasant couple of years have taught me because, I didn't used to know that because the huge boast of confidence that the production of that first play caused made me a little blind to that reality until I learned the hard way. At this point there is no point in giving up on trying because every last try has a chance of becoming something wonderful. It's a gamble but it's worth it and now is the time to reach out even more.