Something that's coming up again and again in my zero drafts is the energy cost of things left undone. I've talked about it a little with respect to clutter, and I can see that I'm so far only scratching the surface.
Let's get bigger picture: Not heeding the callings of our souls costs us more mightily than we even realize.
In that vein, I am doubly proud of what I'm building here. I am proud of the pieces themselves, but I am also proud of what they represent. The work here is bringing to fruition something that I've been called to do since well before I left New Haven, at least ten years ago and maybe more.
What killed my career as a freelancer before it even began was the whole querying process. I just fucking hated it. I spent so much time and energy working on the query letters, trying to sell pieces, that I didn't have any energy left for anything else. My whole writing practice shrank to trying to write a perfect enough query that some editor somewhere would take a flyer on me despite my lack of experience. (I know I'm hardly the first person to decry this particular Catch-22.) I won't deny that a huge part of the problem was my simple unwillingness to just suck it up and send out the zillion queries necessary until someone started to bite, to just hang in there until I had sufficient clips to prove to editors that, yes, I am actually a writer. But at the same time, something struck me as faulty about the whole process, even beyond the Catch-22 I just mentioned. I mean, there was this little thing called the Internet. Why was I asking someone's permission to write something? Okay, granted, really I was asking them to publish it and pay me for it, but in many ways the request amounted to asking their permission. How many times did I meet a rejected query by trusting the quality of the idea and writing the piece anyway? Never. Not once.
But if you truly have a vision to create something, whom do you let get in the way? Ultimately, the answer is no one--except for yourself.
I kept being called. I heard the calling as though words were spoken into my mind: These are good ideas. Write them. Put them on the website. Create something. Create something that didn't exist before. Create something that couldn't exist before. This whole Internet thing is different. Publishing online is different.
And you don't need a single person's permission, except your own.
It was all clearly true, and yet. The thought arose again and again, knocking on my consciousness insistently, and I kept telling myself I would do it and I kept not doing it.
But now I am doing it.
For oh so many years, I let myself block myself. For whatever reason, I refused to allow my creative energy to flow as it was called to do. And the energy backed up and backed up and backed up.
How much force does something like that carry when it finally releases?