The beginning is hard. The beginning is uncertain. The beginning involves so many decisions – sometimes several at a time. The beginning is scary.
The beginning of every new project is always tough. Today I tried to begin another piece for real. I say for real because I’ve been thinking about it and designing it in my mind for two months.
I have the sketches ready but I moved to start work on it in earnest today. After I’d laid everything out and made the mental decision to start, I found I couldn’t start.
Some part of me wanted to run away. I made an excuse to get another cup of tea which I surely didn’t need. Oh, anything to keep me from really starting.
The beginning is hard, indeed and I’ve said that before. Starting is the toughest because it is the point at which the least number of decisions have been made, – so many questions remain unanswered.
It is the scariest because who knows if I can successfully translate my mental vision into reality.
It is hard because I don’t have the advantage of seeing it started. (How will you get that if you don’t get started, you ask.)
It’s hard because who knows if my mind’s eye will line up with my physical eye. Who knows if the risk I take to commit my art supplies, to dye fabrics and to spend countless hours on this project will pay off.
As silly as it may sound, this happens with the beginning of every big piece I create. The longer I chew on it in my mind, the more invested I become in it and the more invested I become in it, the harder it is to start. I can feel the piece calling me to come work and play, yet I find myself finding every excuse in the world to run as fast as I can away from it.
This idea has been percolating in my mind for two months. Shall I start or shall I stall some more? Who knows if the gamble will pay off?
Yes, who knows indeed? We’ll never ever know if I don’t start, will we?
Here’s what happened when I overcame my difficulty to start.
UPDATE: (The Beginning is Hard for Many People)
About a month or so after I wrote this article, Michael Hyatt said this in an article he wrote on his blog.
“I experience the greatest doubt and anxiety at the start of something big. Whether it’s good or bad, I’m usually fine once I’m going. But until then, I’m like the person on the tip of the high dive, overlooking way too much blue.”
Indeed, the beginning is hard for lots of people. It sure feels good to hear other people’s experiences. It makes you see how not uncommon your experiences are. And also, it makes you feel connected to something bigger than yourself.