creativity, culture, community
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Lao-tzu, Chinese philosopher This inspirational saying has become one of my mantras because sometimes the hardest thing to do in starting a new project is well, to start. I usually boldly state this philosophical quote aloud before I begin a writing project. I find it helps me focus.
But some days are harder than others. I know what I need to do. I’ve spoken with clients, partners or co-workers about the project. I’ve done my homework. It’s time to take action.
Sometimes I go into stall mode. I think maybe I need to do some more research, compile more facts, explore the client’s business philosophy more deeply. This is not always a bad thing, as long as I limit the amount of time I stay in this mode.
I dig a little deeper and then I’m really ready. I sit staring at my computer screen and waiting for inspiration. Sometimes it comes, sometimes it doesn’t. But, as they say in the theater, the show must go on. It’s time to take a deep breath and just jump off that cliff. For me, just putting something down in writing, even if it’s terrible, is a good beginning. I can always revise it, and I can always get input from others if I have something to start the conversation.
Next I’m usually surprised. The words start flowing. I get into the rhythm of what I’m saying. I’m happy with the result! Now I’m humming “Jump!” (David Lee Roth and prime Van Halen …)
How do you start a new project? What rituals or practices do you go through in order to plunge into a new endeavor?