Baby Steps

EmmastepsWinter is generally the time when I hunker down in some corner of the house to bang away at a project, because it’s too cold to go outside. This winter so far, I’ve done almost none of that, because I’ve been moving our stuff downstairs and trying to put things together in our house. That, and watching a bunch of Downton Abbey. (Gahhh!! Watch where you’re driving, you silly British lawyer!!) So, I’ve neglected projects and I’ve made a ton of soup for the squirt, who’s gotten sick twice in two months. I’ve hammered the hell out of a bookcase or two, and I’ve neglected more projects.

But not any more. And I’m starting here. (well, actually I started somewhere else at lunch, but I’m not at liberty to share that yet)

One of the things that very often paralyzes me is the thought that something is just too big a time commitment. That I’m unable to move forward because moving forward means that I have to keep doing that thing until it’s finished, or until I’m dead. I’ll even think so far ahead that I’m picturing myself ten years from now bored with doing it, but still doing it because I started and can’t back out. I know. My head is sometimes a ridiculous place.

But here’s the thing I was struck by today as I was reading Seth Godin’s book, The Icarus Deception, I don’t have to commit to anything at all. I make the rules, and I can just write if I want to. Only problem is, if I don’t commit to something tangible, I won’t do anything at all. But I can commit to a week, can’t I? Who can’t do something for a week?

So for one week, says I, says me, to myself on the train, I will commit to writing at least one thing a day, and posting it here. I’m not going to make everything featured, and I’m not even saying it’s all going to be a long post. I may decide to spend my writing time composing a kick-ass haiku. But at least once a day, for seven days, I’m going to sit down and write. And I’m also committing to sitting down at the end of the week and deciding if it’s worth doing again, or if I want to set a different agenda.

Here’s the key. I’m starting today. I’m not waiting until Monday morning. I’m not allowing myself to kick the idea around all weekend and then forget about it because Sunday night rolls around and I’m watching the Oscars while glutted on ribs. (yes, I’m making ribs, and my mouth is watering already).  I’m starting now, because the idea is a now kind of idea, and I want to get the ball rolling.

This is a baby step toward my goal of writing another book. I illustrated a book last winter, and I want to get going on another one, while this one is almost ready to roll out. (my wife is helping me revamp the e-book right now). Watching my daughter take her first steps 6 months ago, I was overjoyed and now as she stands in the living room shaking her butt and dancing around to Prince songs I marvel at how far she’s come in such a short time. It comes from doing something every day, a little better, and a little more than you did the day before.

But you have to start somewhere. You can’t be a ninja overnight.

Is there something that you could commit to for a week? Some thing that you’ve had knocking around in your head, but haven’t started because it’s too daunting? Is there some small thing you could do every day for a week to get started? If you want to take a baby step or two with me, I’d love to hear about it. Drop me a line and hit the subscribe button. We can start together. And then decide to start again next week.

Have a great weekend. I’ll see you tomorrow!

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