Not Too Soon

We often delay beginning our creative or spiritual work with the false belief that we must be ‘ready.’

It’s a protective measure, meant to preserve our egos and ward off detectable inadequacies.

I’ve of course been guilty of this same delaying strategy in my own professional life, in my creative life, in what amounts to my spiritual practice. I’ve dallied and delayed, and I’ve put off action by waiting for whatever skills I’m trying to flex to be primed, as if I’d just gone through a Rocky-like training montage out of sight of everyone in order to unveil to a surprised and unsuspecting world just how awesome I am.

Life is made in the doing, in the trying, in the failing and re-trying. We cannot be ready for this. There is certainly prepared, educated, practiced, but ready is something else. Ready is only accomplished in the doing of the thing in real time and with real consequences. Ready is open to the moment, to the nexus of performing work and to being yourself, to struggling and being vulnerable. Ready is being open to failing.

Waiting to be ready, as tantalizing an option at that is, only delays progress. Ready sounds like it’s about the future, but it’s really about the now. And as we all know, now is all we’ve got.

This One You Feed podcast addresses, among several other ideas, the fallacy of being ready in an interview with Srini Rao. Check it out here.

Still Here

I’m no stranger to failing.

Not failure, that final state of having failed, but failing the process. Failing the perpetual act. You know, like breathing.

As some who read this blog might recall, I was originally intending to title my presence on the web the “Fail Better” blog after the oft-cited (some might say too often cited) Samuel Beckett quote because much of my life’s inner work has been learning to confront and recover from failing, to understand that failing isn’t a consequence to be feared nor an issue to be solved, but a natural result from living a life.

Not unrelated: I hadn’t realized until this morning how far behind I am on blogging, an activity that up until seven months ago, I was engaging in weekly. In fact, I’ve fallen behind in the basic maintenance of my online presence. My go-to account for such activity—Twitter—has been quiet and nearly inert.

For what’s worth, I’m still here.

The good news is that I’ve been drafting on my new (as yet untitled) novel. Now that I travel often for work, I’ve been relying on a combination of Microsoft 365 and Google Docs to get this drafting done. (I add that tidbit for my fellow wordsmiths; these SAAS-based word processing programs are very helpful when you’re moving around a bunch, even if it’s from computer to computer.)

I've also been catching upon up on my reading. By the by, Karen Russell's fantastic story 'Prospectors' redeems an otherwise lackluster (failing?) New Yorker fiction issue.

 So yes. Back to it. Good to see you all again.