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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Welcome to the Shop!

"It's not the critic who counts. Not the man who points out where the strong man stumbled or where the doer of great deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena. Whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood. Who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again. And who, while daring greatly, spends himself in a worthy cause so that his place may not be among those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."
- Theodore Roosevelt

Sometimes, the hardest thing is to just begin.

We have all sorts of myths about beginnings. If we cannot assure ourselves of doing it right, then we can be assured of not doing anything, for fear of doing it wrong.

The only thing this really assures, is that we will do that: nothing.

Which, all things considered, is a real shame.

So how do we spring from doing nothing to doing something? Like anything else. Lao Tsu said, a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Have the trust that we can take that one step, and another, and another, just steps – not anything enormous, grand, or big. Just little, gentle steps. One foot in front of the other, like when we teach children to walk.

Of course, as anyone who watches children will tell you, what happens? They fall down. A lot.

Mary Pickford said, “This thing we call ‘Failure’ is not the falling down, but the saying down.”

Experiment, today, with taking a step. Buy a blank notebook. Find one in your stash of office or school supplies. Find a pen. (Preferably one that has ink in it.) Now take a few steps onto the page, string a few sentences around, maybe draw a doodle or two.

There are some lovely writing prompts available on the internet. Try googling “writing prompts” and see what happens. Or try finishing the sentence, “One day, Bob left his house and…”

The important thing is not how you begin. The important thing is just to begin.

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