Starting is agony.
This is true for so many things in life besides writing, isn’t it?
Starting something- whether it’s a book, a family, life in a new place- is just plain difficult.
It’s not hard to imagine what it’ll be like in the thick of this new thing, but it’s sometimes hard to take the first step necessary to get there.
I admire the people who brush their fears aside and do the things they’re afraid (and therefore meant) to do. You know the type: they’re energy is generally high, they plow through obstacles without a second thought, and they’re not afraid to make a mistake or start something over with a better plan of attack.
These people get shit done.
I’ve always had the desire to be like that in every aspect of life. Sometimes, that screw-fear-let’s-do-this! attitude comes naturally. I wanted my MFA, so I applied to schools, got in, and barreled through the program with glee. Same with buying a house, planning a wedding, adopting a dog, starting my freelance writing business. Sometimes I see the goal clearly, understand the steps I need to take, and just do it.
But then there’s this book.
I’m hesitant to even call it that right now. It’s more of an idea that’s spread into a bigger idea that’s stalled in place.
A few months ago when I finally sat down to start writing, I had that fearless attitude that one needs when facing a creative task like writing something, short story or novel or screenplay or poem. I just started writing.
Then I stopped, of course, 7,500 words in. What was I doing? No, seriously. What was I doing? What if I screwed this up? What if I wasted all this time writing something that was a piece of crap? What’s the point in that?
NaNoWriMo is next month. In 11 short days I’m going to strap myself in for the madness that is National Novel Writing Month. Why? Because this story isn’t going anywhere on its own. Because deadlines light a fire under my ass that I sometimes really need in order to see past my self-doubts. Because I want to write this story, I want to know these characters better, and I want to do it soon.
50,000 words isn’t really a complete novel by industry standards. But it’s a pretty decent start. And sometimes, what we need to keep the fire stoked and our wheels spinning towards the end goal is a start– a fearless one, where there’s just no space to hesitate.
How do you deal with starting something new, whatever it may be? Do you find that it’s easier for you to start some creative projects versus others? Share with me in the comments.