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Ella Forrest Photography

Anyone out there struggle with completing a project. I’m not talking the run-of-the-mill ‘just can’t get started’ syndrome. I’m talking a finished book with the cover art in hand combined with an inability to finish it off!

This frustrates me. My unexplained (to my internal, thinking self) reticence to knock out the last couple steps of Poetry in Black and White vexes me. I know I can do great things with writing. I know I can achieve success. Yet success appears to embody my most dire fears.

I do not fear failure as much as I struggle with being accepted by others. The revelation that I may not deserve success as defining my problems finishing off projects, unnerves me. To possess a talent and fear that talent all in the same thought feels like – death.

Like I know what death feels like, right? Well, I have almost died three times. I felt helpless and hopeless in ICU in three different hospitals. I struggled through recovery three times. Each time I vowed a commitment to overcome the weaknesses that prevent goal attainment.

Does this mean I am due another near-death experience? I certainly hope not. I don’t think I can take another. But I digress. This book project has been virtually complete for a couple months now.

Here’s the project. I wrote seventy or eighty poems over the course of the past year. I decided to produce a second poetry book with an artist interpreting my poetry in black and white drawings and sketches. For seven over ten months I asked, cajoled, inspired (obviously not enough) and hounded five artists to produce some work. Not one submitted a single piece of work.

Then I came across a wonderful photographer (Ella Forrest)who knocked out the pics for each poem in the book. It only took her a few weeks. Her eye for photography grabbed my attention. I loved the connections I observed between photograph and poem.

With pics in the computer and poems edited over and over. I stand ready to publish. I own ClearView Press Inc., so publishing is not a hold up. I even purchased some cool cover art. All I need to do is make it happen. I can produce a book within 14 days at this point.

So what gives. I think when one cannot assess his own mind, he must either be insane or a poet – or both. Why do we do (or not do) the things that affect our lives in positive ways? I struggle to come to grips with inaction and stasis when historically I made things happen for others. Why not for myself?

I am convince learning this lesson is all that stands between myself and success. One aspect of life I also acquired knowledge of over time is that if I’m feeling and struggling in this manner, so are many others. I am not alone.

One question that haunts me is this – what happens to those of us who do not figure out this self-limiting issue? I suppose I know the answer. We die in obscurity, always believing we possess greatness, never producing it in the end.

A morbid, self-defeating view, to be sure. I will continue to strive to overcome. I’m learning it may be less about overcoming and more about allowing success to happen. I certainly am not accused of forcing things to happen.

Clarity is what I seek. I allow too much influence on my decision making to be determined by what others may think rather than forge my way. I know this the key, but getting from this knowledge to production appears to be the proverbial sticky pen (rather than wicket, of course).

Stay tuned to see progress. Writing this stream of consciousness blog has helped define the issue a bit better. Will it help me produce? Again, check back to find out…

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