I’ll know I tried, 1979

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Sunset in Southbury, Connecticut, February 2, 2022. By Howard Fielding. Offered under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0.

Continuing my reading of journal entries from my first year as a freelance writer, I discovered this entry that showed I was getting out of my procrastination rut:

A bone-chilling, cold, blustery day, but a good day nonetheless. Continued reading in the Chicago manual and typed and prepared the “Cole’s Law” story for Student Lawyer, which I will proof and mail tomorrow. …

Anyway, it felt really good to put something into real writer submission format! Even if it gets rejected, I’ll know I actually tried! And right now, that’s what matters.

Howard W. Fielding, “Journal, Volume II,” 5 February 1979

After six months of navel-gazing about whether I wanted to be a writer or a lawyer, and another month about whether I was prepared to be a writer or should just get a job, and taking baby steps, I was finally about to take action. Procrastination and preparation are road blocks to creativity, although sometimes necessary ones.

The next day’s entry was short:

I did mail my ‘Cole’s Law’ piece and got quite a thrill out of it.

Howard W. Fielding, “Journal, Volume II,” 6

That’s all there is.

That’s all there is?

Think of it this way. For a writer, for this one at least, the first submission is like the first kiss. You know the time is right. You work yourself up to it. It’s tentative. It could go either way or not at all.

Then your lips meet for the first time, and you wonder: Where will it go from here?

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