Light is dancing today. Puffy clouds float through the sky and the maples have matured into thick, green adulthood. I am wearing earplugs but can still hear the leaf blowers, and I long for a soft stretch of silence.
Then it comes. A pause in the ruckus next door allows chords from the Spanish guitar on Pandora to strike the foam bullets in my ears, and I feel my heart again.
Is silence truly golden? Or is it softness we treasure and with it the ability to fall in sync with the sound of beauty? Maybe what's really gold is being softer and lighter on ourselves.
It is June and Lucia is now one year old. Bill Gates once said, "Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten."
There is time.
Our small team has accomplished so much in one year, and I feel proud. To brag for a moment...we have printed two beautiful issues of Lucia Journal and won an award for design. We ran a Kickstarter campaign to raise $60,000, and when it ended unfunded we got back up to try again on Indiegogo and raised $12,500. We were written up in Bustle, invited to Seattle's NBC morning show, and offered this blog in the Huffington Post. We are on the shelves of more than 125 stores across the U.S., including selected Barnes & Nobles, Whole Foods, and a growing number of delightful independent creative shops like NICHEoutside and Grapheme. Our team grew to welcome an online editor, who writes stories with lightness and inspiration and is already making great strides in cultivating relationships with talented new voices for luciajournal.com.
We have accomplished so much! Yet my busy brain fixates on all that is not done yet. When it does, I can grow rigid and anxious and scared.
Issue Three is waiting to be created. There are submissions in my inbox, ideas in my head, and outline after outline scribbled in journals, Word docs, and the notes function of my iPhone. There is a sponsorship program to create, and potential partners to reach out to. There are dozens of incredible independent shops to connect with and invite to carry us. There is a plan brewing for creative fortnightly emails from Lucia. There is more.
Fear likes to loud-whisper in the late afternoon hours when creativity has exhausted herself and can no longer hold the reins. He says things like, "You did this backwards. You should have developed a larger online audience first, before attempting to go to print. You made a mistake by eschewing advertising. You cannot be creative and run a business at the same time. Geez, Laura, what were you thinking?"
I learned long ago to refrain from reacting when fear starts jabbering on about failure. It does get easier, but man does he never shut up.
"Pipe down. Look at what we just did in one year, pal!" I say firmly and loud. The neighbor's gardener, who has finally abandoned his leaf blower in favor of a rake, looks up in the direction of my open door. "You just wait," I mutter, a little softer. "We'll show you what we can do in ten years. Make that two."
I remove my earplugs and hear the steady rise-and-fall swoosh of traffic one block away on Madison Street. The guitar plays on and so I turn the volume up, listening for what is gold.