Reading time: 2 minutes and 10 seconds
Twenty eight minutes.
That is all I have. Twenty eight minutes to distil my thoughts into a blog post. I’m in the coffee shop and the battery life of my lap-top has imposed this limit on me.
What am I feeling? Pressure to create. Where do I start? How do I start?
Sometimes I feel that my writing just flows. My desktop tells a different story. It’s a graveyard of half-written posts, abandoned to the scrap heap of history. The one about learning to slice onions was particularly awful. Maybe I’ll post it one day, so you can agree.
Getting started is usually the biggest hurdle. The blank page. The blinking cursor. It’s almost mocking me. Come on – fill me up. Bring me to life. How difficult can that possibly be?
My personal best is 47 minutes. I’ve sat and stared. Occasionally an idea popped into my head. No, who’d want to read about that? Too boring. Too trite. Too patronising. Even I wouldn’t read that. Back to staring, and waiting.
If only I was as amazing at everything as I am at self-censoring. Life would be a breeze.
So how do I get started. Breaking inertia, getting the ball rolling. Michael Atavar, author of the brilliant How to Be an Artist probably sums it up best:
“THE ONLY WAY TO START IS TO START”
Pick something, anything to fill the vacuum. Look at the world around you. The people, the environment, nature, the sky, the sunlight playing on the water, the feeling you have inside you, the photograph of the old man in the café covering his eyes, the colour of the paint on the wall. Anything that catches your interest.
Congratulations, you’ve started. Now do something with it. Write it down, talk about it with someone, draw it, photograph it, video it, write a haiku about it. The first building block.
Where does this take you? What happens next, where does your mind draw you? Find the excitement, open the next door and see what is behind. The rust starts to flake off the mental cog wheels. Each rotation gets easier. The rolling stone picks up momentum. Moss be gone.
Starting something is much easier than not starting something. Not starting is static, frustrating, tedious.
Starting is dynamic, energizing, exciting, creative. It’s not important if you’re trying to write a blog post, get a project moving, find a new job or change the world. Everything has to start somewhere.
So I pick something. Twenty eight minutes. I roll with it. The wheels turn. Something else follows. Suddenly the words are flowing. I’m riding a train of thought, not exactly sure where it is going. And then I reach the destination, and I’m pleased. With 8 minutes still to spare. Time to start something new….
What are you ready to start? How long have you been waiting? How do you get the ball rolling? What gets you unstuck? Please leave a comment and let the LOL community know.
Great blogs about starting
Photo Credit: Lord Jim from Flickr Creative Commons