I started another project this week. It’s one that I started working on 17 years ago and have never gotten very far on. The one that has always been the one I will finish someday. I decided now was the time to work on it and get a draft completed, while my other project is resting. I have about six or seven chapters and a plot synopsis, but my ideas about it have changed over the years. So, I’m starting at the beginning. Again.
Amnesia is a wonderful thing. I had forgotten how hard it is to start working on something. I think it’s the same with every draft. I get so caught up in whatever part I’m working on that I forget what that part before that was like. Until I’m faced with it again.
Beginnings are hard. There’s so much fear and uncertainty. The fear that the words I’m putting on the page aren’t good enough. That I will make a crucial mistake that will haunt me through the rest of the draft. That my ideas aren’t well formed enough. (It's a first draft. Of course they're not as well formed as I'd like.) That I don’t know what I’m doing. I have to learn to leap all over again. To quiet my inner critic – shut up Steve – and trust that it’s all a part of the process. That it will get easier. I just have to keep writing.
My challenge now is to sit down and put words on the page every day. Regardless of how good they are, if I get words down I succeed. I only fail if I don’t show up. If I give in to the fear. I’ve noticed the feeling that I get after I’ve written something is always better than finishing a day without doing it. Writing is hard, but not writing is harder.
Do you like beginnings?