Little steps

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Little steps can get you there.

Take writing, for example. When I  begin a new project, say a book, it always seems overwhelming at the beginning. The screen is so blank, so big, so full of nothing.

How will I ever be able to take this blank screen and fill it up with an entire novel? It’s too much. Impossible.

So I do the only thing I can do. I write the first word.

But words are social beings, they need to be surrounded by others of their kind.

I blink, and suddenly there’s a sentence grinning back at me from my screen. I don’t know where it came from, I just know it’s there.

It disturbs me, this sentence with its mocking smile. It begs for a playmate, and complains that no creature should live in the desolation that IS an almost empty page.

I’m not ready for this. It’s early and I need a cup of coffee and breakfast, so I get up to go to the kitchen. But my fingers never leave the keyboard because I know that if I abandon this sentence it will haunt my dreams and give me heartburn.

I shake my head and take a deep breath. One more sentence, that’s all I need. Then I can close my computer with a clear conscience and go about my day.

Standing awkwardly over my laptop I type a few words, then a few more. The far off bark of a dog fades away…

My stomach growls and I’m jerked back to reality. I look around the room dazed, until I notice that an entire hour has gone by.

I shake my head to clear the last vestiges of fog from my brain, take a deep breath, and force my eyes to the computer screen.

It’s full of words. Better yet, I see sentences and paragraphs.

I read a few lines and smile in relief. I’m in luck. It actually makes sense.

The first little step has been taken. The story has begun.

All will be well.

A few (hundred) more of these little steps and I’ll have a first draft!


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