I didn’t intentionally take a week off from blogging to start the year, but by Friday, I was pretty okay with it. Some weeks I think it’s important to backtrack and write posts for days that have already passed. But I also recognize that it’s okay for things not to happen. Last week was not a blogging week.
Instead, I spent most of my time getting myself sorted out for the year while also trying to recover from the holidays. Essentially, I started the process of 2016. Not much has changed since the calendar switched over at midnight on January 1, but there are new projects and new pursuits. And everything has to start sometime, if it is to start at all.
Truisms aside, beginnings are a tricky business. I think of them mostly in terms of writing, of course, but the difficulty there is reflective of nearly everything we do. Beginnings are tough because you’re fighting for momentum. Every project begins with the overcoming of inertia. And it’s not just that first day. It’s the second day and the third and the twenty-seventh until you find yourself in the middle of something and it has its own kind of energy (speed bumps happen here, too, but they’re a different sort in my experience). When you cease to move, you falter.
Faltering is okay. But it necessitates a restarting of the process. You can recover that momentum, probably, but it’s going to take some work.
In a story, we search for opening sentences. Probably it won’t be the exact right one, but you need something close enough for jazz. Close enough to write that next sentence. And the next. There’s an image or an idea or an action that gets you in. Stephen King says writing is like an excavation. You have to start chiseling somewhere.
What are you beginning?