“Start before you’re ready.”
Coaches, gurus, and other inspirational folks often spout this advice, and I fully believe in it. Delaying the launch often equals resistance to manifesting our passion project in the world. It takes the form of statements like “I can’t start until I’ve done all my research” or “I won’t launch until I’ve perfected my piece.” Fill in the blanks with what you say to yourself. All of these statements allow you to indefinitely delay the launch of your beautiful piece that your current and future fans await.
But what do you do when you feel ready, but are unavoidably delayed? Recently, I’ve been creating a new project. “Diary of a Lesbian Housewyfe” tells the stories, memories, and random thoughts from my life in humorous and sometimes profane ways. I’ve written these essays on and off for years and finally decided to transform them into a weekly newsletter available by paid subscription.
With Substack turning out thousands of these daily, I thought my plan would be pretty simple. Begin writing these pieces up and then go-go-go! I’d start and then figure out what I was doing as I went along.
The delay came from the fact that I wanted to keep the newsletter housed on my website. I didn’t want Substack or MailChimp or Ghost up in my business. The biggest part of creating a newsletter is that you own your list, and I didn’t want any other company to control my access to the information.
As my tech guru (aka my wife, Steph) explored my options, I fluttered around her workspace, offering opinions and asking questions until she told me to go work on the content. “Aren’t you doing this so you can write those essays? How are they going? How many are done?”
Chastised, I headed back to my office. I redirected and finished several essays to the point they were worth showing to other folks. “Yes,” they said. “They’re funny but not laugh-out-loud.”
Well, that wouldn’t do. Still delayed by technology, I dove into the research of writing funny. I read funny essays, watched funny tv and movies, and discovered books that promised to teach how to write funny. All of these things combined to push a blurt of laughter out of my wife’s face when I read the pieces aloud.
The delay frustrated me, but ultimately, I grew. By redirecting my anger and helplessness into work, I improved my writing. Through waiting, I proved to myself that my writing was important, worth the stubborn dedication to my craft and a launch into the world.
Not all of the technological kinks have been ironed out, but I’m inviting my network to become my beta-test group, to read these initial pieces and share their feedback. If you are interested, you can sign up here:
Delays give you a chance to improve what you can. And, truly, I’m still launching before I feel ready.