Ask Them? Ask Them!

A picture of the There Is a Bird On Your Head! (An Elephant and Piggie Book) by Mo Willems. Elephant asks Piggie "Ask Them?" to Piggie who replies, "Ask them!" Elephant has a bird nest on his head and wishes them to leave.

It hit me the other day that my draft wouldn't be what it is today without the generosity of many folks who believed in it, and me.

So much of the fear to act comes from this central struggle in my mind between asking permission and asking forgiveness. For small things, I often quip that forgiveness is the better battle to wage. A plan, a hunch, or a shitty first drafts can often get you in the door or past the scrutiny of peers. Sometimes figurative or literal momentum makes the difference! But when the legality of referenced sources has very real consequences, permission is required.

So far, I've asked 13 people one thing or another:

Every single one of them said yes. I cannot thank them enough. And to my family - who's given me space to sustain work on it now for a good long time.

So the next time you need something. Don't fret. Don't worry too much. Ask. It'll set aside hypothetical worry and let you start wrestling with the potential response.

And when someone asks you something, keep in mind how much it may have cost them to speak up.