I am just now wrapping up a book proposal on the topic of female embodiment and the power inherent in women. It was, in some ways, a delight to write. I focused on creating the book in a format that resonated with who I am as a creator. Thus, I included artistic images, poems, and bits and pieces from my speaking engagements surrounding this topic.
All was well and good, until about 3 days ago. I have been so busy with so many commitments that, although I was working on the proposal a great deal, I really was not paying attention to where I was in the process.
Suddenly- and this is the very tricky part for any creator- I realized I was almost done.
And that is when the panic hit.
When completion of a project is a dream in the distance, it is difficult to feel nervous. But, bring a project close to fruition and suddenly you begin to doubt and second guess yourself.
I came a little unhinged in the final segments I was working on – the introductory letter and opening material of the proposal.
I could not determine what I wanted to say or how I wanted to say it. I wrote in circles and deleted and wrote in more circles.
I began calling friends to get their opinions. They were busy and did not pick up the phone, so I called again. Never leaving a message until I tried at least twice.
I am embarrassed to say it was a writer’s version of “drunk dialing”.
Until I understood what was going on.
I was using my energy attempting to resonate with the most irrelevant aspects of my project and then wondering why I no longer felt assured in what I was doing.
I was spending an inordinate amount of time worrying about ridiculous matters- the 2nd and 3rd sentences in the 4th paragraph of my introductory letter- really? When the body of my work was whole, complete, and authentic.
Let me tell you this, the main body of the proposal will either resonate with the publisher or it won’t. The acceptance or rejection of the project will hardly hinge on sentence 3 of the 4th paragraph, but that is where I let my focus take me.
It’s an old defense mechanism of creative types the world over. Let me attempt to resonate with the irrelevant, so I do not have to look too closely and honestly at what I have created. For if I were to stand in front of my own authentic creation and allow the significance of what I have created resonate with me, I truly don’t know if I could stand it.
Once I understood what I was doing, I could let it go and stop calling my friends.
We are never at our best when we attempt to resonate with the irrelevant in our lives- whether that irrelevant is contained in a creative project, the details of a relationship, a work situation or whatever. We are only at our best when we authentically resonate with our best, most significant aspects of our work.