One Word After the Other

“I don’t know what to write today.”

This is a thing that I sometimes say to myself – especially when it’s true. It’s certainly something that I said to myself when I sat down to put this post together.

The thing is that, for me anyway, that’s only ever partially true. If I were to phrase it more accurately, it would be something like, “I have a very vague idea of what I want to write, but I don’t know all of it, and I’m not sure how to articulate it, or even where to begin.”

Course that’s more of a mouthful – even when you’re only talking in your own head.

So, if you’re like me, you’ll start looking for other stuff to do. You’ll look out the window and wonder if the wall of clouds approaching is only going to be overcast, or if it’s going to drop something on you. You’ll notice that the metadata for the audio track that you’re listening to is wrong, and change it*.

Then you’ll realize that you’re not doing anything but wasting time when you should be writing, so you shake yourself, mentally, turn to the keyboard, and you take that step. You write that first word down.

This is more difficult that that sentence makes it seem. What word do you start with? Is that really the right word? Does it take you in the direction, or convey the meaning that you want?

Maybe you turn around and delete that first word, but you’ve gone and done it. You’ve marked that page – even if said page is, in reality, nothing more than a collection of pixels. But it’s more than that. Mentally, that page has been changed, altered. Mentally, you’re altered too. You’ve started something. Might as well keep going.

It’s not about writing an entire book in one sitting. Or even writing an entire blog post in one sitting – which is certainly easier to do, but that’s not the point.

The point is about sitting down and doing what it takes to get that very first word down. Even if you delete it and try another. That first word is the key the unlocks the door. Every other word after that is you going through the door. They’re a little easier because you’ve got something to work off of. You’ve got the previous words.

That’s how things get done. You don’t eat the elephant in one bite. You start small. A journey of a hundred thousand words begins with a single word, then another, and another.

One word after the other.

 

Here is a quick reminder that next weekend, I’ll be at ConFusionĀ in Novi, Michigan. My panel schedule is on my Events page.

Now all I have to do is figure out how I’m going to get a Sunday blog post up while I’m at the con**

 

Time: 11:40 am – ish

Music: Bon Jovi – It’s my Life

 

*Practically a play-by-play description of what’s going on here folks.

**I already know, thanks. It’s more about figuring out where I’m going to find the time to write and schedule a post.

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