Starting a new book.
Starting a new chapter.
Starting to write for the first time that day.
Starting to write for the first time after a long (or even short) absence from writing.
“An object in motion will remain in motion; an object at rest will stay at rest… unless acted upon by an external force.” – Newton’s First Law of Motion
I started writing every day partly to overcome the inertia that even a weekend off could induce. And I love to write – this isn’t about the desire (or lack of desire) to get words on the page. The forces of darkness (Facebook, laundry, the endless to-do list) are constantly battling to keep you from starting. They are aided by fear (what is this chapter even about?), doubt (this novel is so freaking long, I’ll never finish it), and anxiety (if I don’t finish the book, then I can guarantee no one will read it) – the inner demons that are our own personal forces of darkness.
The forces of good are stronger, but sometimes they need a nudge.
Routines can help. I prefer a strong cup of tea, freshly cleaned glasses, and top-of-the-lungs singing of my preferred “get started” song (currently: Let It Go, from FROZEN). But when the routine becomes an excuse (I only have fifteen minutes to write… better not start!), then ditch that and just type.
In the end, the only way to start… is to start. Get those fingers in motion! Write anything, if you don’t know what to write. When my kids were small, I had them write in a journal every day during the summer. When they complained “I hate writing!” I told them to write that… until they filled the page or came up with something better.
They quickly came up with something better.
So will you.