Being Brave Enough to Start

16 thoughts on “Being Brave Enough to Start”

  1. You’re completely right about that ‘opening the case’ thing! (And I love bassoon. I’m a violinist, but I took a semester of bassoon for fun. It didn’t quite work out, because I didn’t have the breath support, but I found out years later I may have been learning on a shitty horn. Anyway, I wound up donating it to a local middle school. I’m not a bassoonist. But I love that one Saint-Saëns sonata.)

    1. That’s so awesome!!! I used to take to take violin lessons when I was younger and I really loved it 🙂 In the blog post I linked to, Ciotti actually mentions how many musicians practice intensely for 90 minutes then took 15-20 minute breaks– and that got me started thinking about music and practicing. It sounds like a really great strategy for any project. (Also, I totally just listened to that sonata right now. It’s so beautiful!)

  2. I always find it easier to start whole new projects than to finish the ones I have in progress!

    Joss Whedon says : “Absolutely eat dessert first. The thing that you want to do the most, do that.”
    Robert Heinlein explained in one of his early books, that the best way to start is with what you know. Solve the part of the problem you already know how to solve easily, and then when you get to the part that seems harder, it may just fall into place. (was it “Have Space Suit Will Travel?” I read so many of them I lost track)

    1. Lord, if I followed Whedon’s advice for my first book, all I’d ever have written would be the love scenes! But luckily, I knew that was a weakness of mine, and fought it the whole way. I did plan them out lavishly in my head for weeks, though.

    2. Hahaha. That’s a great life philosophy! I think it’s definitely easier to work on something you want to work on first.

      And I completely relate to having difficulty finishing projects. I really admire people who can juggle a lot of projects very expertly. I read once that Isaac Asimov always worked on at least 5 books at once. MY GOD. I wish I knew his secret.

      1. He almost seemed to consider it a compulsion–I read a short story of his today, something about Dreams (I’m too lazy to get up and check the actual book), in which it sounded like he was saying that he almost felt like writers were enslaved by their own outpouring of constant inspiration. Isn’t he the one who said “write faster!” when someone asked what he’d do if he had six months to live?

        I am, incidentally, a bit platonically (or something) in love with him through his nonfiction writing personality. I accidentally named the beefy wizard hunk in my novel after him. It wasn’t on purpose, but the alacrity with which I accepted the idea–I’m chalking that one up to subconscious.

      2. Wow, what a boss.

        I really want to read more about his life now– I’m sure I could learn a lot from him. That’s awesome.

  3. And one more along these lines …. when I was in Shasta, I went to this coffeeshop called “Yaks,” and they have all these weird quotes on the wall. My first time there, I wound up sitting in front of one:

    “Find what you love and let it kill you.” – Charles Bukowski

    I wouldn’t say I agree, but it certainly is one way to look at motivation/inspiration! And look at the great artists who did more or less exactly that. e.g. Van Gogh, drinking turpentine, and turning out these brilliant wild masterpieces…

  4. Excellent advice. It’s very easy to distract yourself away from something – especially something like writing. I have found in the past I might postpone opening that file for most of the day, then, when I get into it, I think, “Hey, this is great, why didn’t I start this earlier?!”

    I’m more dedicated now that I’m published. A deadline helps. Fortunately I’m one of those people who dread running out of time, so I work like crazy at it early on and keep that up, then find I’ve finished early. So fear of letting down myself and others is one of my motivators… Not sure if that’s good or not! 🙂

    1. Sounds like you have really high expectations for yourself and a lot of your readers have high expectations for you, too, and that’s awesome! 🙂 Plus, whatever gets you to write must be some kind of positive, right? I can totally see how those expectations would get intimidating, though!

      1. A positive? totally – I live and breathe to write. I love seeing those inner creations take form in the written word and I adore that readers love it, too, and want more. I do have high expectations, but that rather snuck up on me. All my fears and insecurities happened before I published and before I tested myself against real readers out there.

        I know what I can produce now, I know the quality of my writing, although I’ve always been a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to my own work. That’s one of the reasons I research so heavily, I have a real need to “get it right”.

        I haven’t tripped over my own expectations yet, but I’m sure if that happens, it will teach me something, so I’m not afraid of that. I love what I do, just as you must, or you wouldn’t keep coming back to it. 🙂

  5. I really like your “style” lady! Your blog is fresh and informative. It is also very entertaining. Good work! Ah yes, thank you for visiting my place as well.


      1. Many thanks, Claire. We’ll trade visits as we can, I’m sure…

        Enjoy your day,

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