I sit staring at a blank page, or as it were, a blank digital space on my computer. Words itch to escape from me and yet I find that I can't string them together. I get excited about a potential new project that if not started promptly slowly fades into the abyss of ideas never realized.
Is it because of perfectionism? Am I afraid of erring and not creating something wonderful and perfect on the first try? Or is it that I simply cannot abide myself the few minutes it would take to just start?
Breaking the ice has always been the most difficult part of any task for me, as I assume it is for many people. Whether it is in a creative endeavour, like writing or my latest hobby, sketching, or simple tasks like going out for a run and preparing meals that are more than just sandwiches, starting just feels like an impossiblity.
Why is starting so hard? Fear of failure? Fear of the work itself? Fear of the unknown? I know that all three have been factors in my life and why when there is no incentive (ie. I will get kicked out of school if I don't do my assignments) then I have to rely on my own steam. Sadly, my own steam and attempt at self-encouragement is not always enough. I chide and berate myself for not accomplishing tasks that I should have done weeks ago, noting, however, that this makes me even less likely to start on my projects than before.
So how to begin? Sadly, that's just it. You just have to start. You need to take the time out and just do it (Nike got it right). For me, in writing that is, it's finding a well-lit space where I can sit comfortably with a mug of coffee or tea near by and my phone nowhere in sight. The fewer distractions the better.
I have a few upcoming projects that luckily come with built in support systems. I just joined a new Goodreads book club entitled "Coffee & Books" (these are a few of my favourite things, after all) where I am already well on my way into the classic "Jane Eyre" and cannot wait to discuss it with my new peers.
I will also be partaking in NaNoWriMo again this year. I won last year, having succeeded in writing over 50,000 words in the month of November and I am champing at the bit to either continue on my last project or start something completely new and exciting.
I am continuing my work at the Canadian International Television Festival, where we are going into our second year. I couldn't be more thrilled to be involved in such a labour of love and I cannot wait for this year's festival to begin.
My father, ever the entrepreneur, has tasked me with figuring out fun and creative ways we together can create a business. It's scary but could be potentially incredibly rewarding.
Finally, I have started sketching again in a much more formal setting than I have before. I am learning the basics of drawing on the amazing site Pencil Kings and now I finally have an idea of the fundamentals. Drawing has never come easily to me but I am up to the challenge.
And I'm challenging myself to start. Start here. Start now.