Thursday, March 28, 2013
I've Almost Started!
Like many people, I am a big fan of Calvin and Hobbes. While I have always appreciated Bill Watterson's take on childhood as presented in this beloved comic, there are certain moments where the comic presents some surprisingly deep insights into human behavior and psychology. This particular comic has always been one of my favorites, because it puts into words one of my own classic weaknesses.
I am a first-born, and like many first-borns, I believe that there is a right way and a wrong way to do something. I am definitely not one of those people who wants to figure it out as I go. When I get a new game, the first thing I do is sit down and read the rulebook from start to finish, then jump online and read some strategy tips as well. When I set out to do a new task, I spend quite a bit of time online, reading and watching videos on the best way to perform that particular task. I always want to know what the experts say, how the best of the best does something, and how to maximize my effectiveness in as little time as possible. It probably also explains why I am such an impatient driver.
Now this isn't all bad. But I've noticed, especially when it comes to writing, that I have a tremendous amount of inertia when it comes to starting something new. I spend all this time thinking, planning, playing with ideas, researching, and even sketching out maps or character archetypes or whatever else suits my fancy. I expend a lot of time and energy doing this, when what I should be doing is actually writing. Not world-building. Not outlining. Not researching. Just writing, and then writing some more.
But somewhere along the way, I've become convinced it's got to be right the first time. I don't want to explore, don't want to figure out my own way, don't want to try out different things. I want a final draft on my first try. And because of it, I end up paralyzed. I end up doing all sorts of things, but never actually starting. And like Calvin, when it comes to my writing projects, I find myself saying, "I've almost started!"
Well today I started. I sat down with my writing app, Bluetooth keyboard, and stylus, and began penning the short story that's been floating around in my head for weeks. It's way overdue. And you know what? It's not perfect. It's going to need work. But today I overcame this weakness. I started.
What about you? Do you struggle with starting? Or are your best intentions overcome by other challenges instead? I'd love to hear about it. Thanks for reading.