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.