The First Step is to Begin

The distance is nothing; it’s only the first step that is difficult. ~Marquise du Deffand.

For a number of weeks, I have had in mind an idea for a writing project. Whenever I have been in the shower, washing dishes, reading something particular to the subject or talking with a friend about it, glorious words have just flowed out of my writer mind. This morning I thought: “Oh, today!” I had the time, I had the energy and clarity of purpose.

And all day I did “just one more thing,” on everything but my writing project. I did not even open a file on the computer.

Entire books have been written about this common and frustrating behavior, and with all manner of names given to it and explanations supplied for it. None of the names and explanations matter. There is one answer, and that is to Begin.

I remember years ago a dear friend saying she had begun tackling the overwhelming project of cleaning out a closet. She had opened the closet door. That was all she did, simply opened the door. It was a single small act that to led a completely cleaned and reorganized space within a week.

The old proverb that a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step is totally true. Just begin with one concrete step. Open the door. Open the file, number the chapters, make a half page outline, draw up a list, write a single sentence.

Begin, here and now.

9 thoughts on “The First Step is to Begin

  1. Great post. Thanks for sharing this reminder. Getting started is the toughest part of every act of creation.

    If you haven’t read The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield, I highly recommend it. It’s been a huge help to me, and I frequently turn to it.


  2. How perfectly true. I find I have productive days and non-productive days. As long as I keep them balanced. I spend my non-productive days thinking, visualizing and prioritizing.

    I love your books. They are a wonderful read.



  3. I needed this little “push” from you. I have a sale in less than two weeks and I have been circling around, addressing all sorts of other issues instead of heading to the basement and actually starting to sew. Usually, all it takes to get me going is to start looking at my old patterns. . . and new ideas will start to form. However, before that happens, I have to make my way down to where I stored away those patterns from Fall of 2009 !!! I am glad to know I’m not alone with this issue!! Good luck with your project!! L, Dana


    • Every creative act has this issue, so since we are all creative, we all suffer this difficulty from time to time. Some people have learned to overcome it. I know that when I was younger, I did not seem to have this difficulty quite as badly–I ‘muscled’ over it. I’ve indulged myself for far too long, so I made poor habits.

      Thanks for dropping by, Dana. I must get to The Stone Rabbit and see what you are sewing!


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