“You don’t have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great.”
― Les Brown
What is it about sitting down to start the next book, story, article etc.? Many of us are resistant to finishing a project, but not me. For me the difficulty is in the beginning. I write faithfully on a project once it is started, but getting started is where my true fear is put in to hyper-drive.
I know that I will rewrite every beginning, some more times than even I can count. Always in search of the perfect word choice the first line, the first paragraph, the first page as the most important part of any article, story, or book.
Agony with the opening seems to be my lot in life. I have done the research and although I’ve encounter some fabulous beginnings, I’ve never meet one that was perfect. Well, maybe I’m spoiled with Snoopy’s “It was a dark and stormy night…” Snort!!!
Life should be so easy. Doesn’t it seem to you that some people sit down in front of the keyboard and just start clacking away? And then in matter of months or weeks they have a pretty fabulous first draft, and after a single pass edit, they have a manuscript that is submission worthy? Not fair.
But then, life is not fair. I know this, because I am a middle child. But don’t get me started on that subject. I believe birth order placement had everything to do with my becoming a writer. It was the endless opportunity to seek out and find new hiding places, so low profile as to not draw the attention of hostile siblings, and so private and small, that only imagination could accompany me on these adventures.
Each day a new beginning for my own private story, for my species, my planet, my kingdom. So many stories and so little time.
From this experience I learned the rewrite is essential to good story telling. Each night, as I drifted off to sleep I knew things would progress in my private world even when I was not there to supervise. This is the same manner in which story beginnings develop after the middle is kept from sagging and the denouement is firmly in place.
The good news? For the serious writer, we can always begin again.