sometimes you just have to start

I often wonder why starting something can be the most difficult part of the whole project. I began this post thinking, in particular, of writing. But the more I've thought, it's become obvious this hesitation to start, at least for me, applies to so much more: a new workout regimen, starting a book I've been wanting to read — sometimes even something so simple as organizing that stack of papers on my desk. What is it about the idea of starting that can halt us before we've even begun? 

I think, for me, it's the idea of commitment and what seems to be inevitable failure, of some degree. Typing it out makes it seem so negative, and I wouldn't typically consider myself a negative person. But if you never start, you never have the chance for failure. And sometimes that seems like the more desirable, and definitely the easier, option. 

The catalyst for this rather rambling blog post is the imminent arrival of NaNoWriMo. Or, for the uninitiated, National Novel Writing Month. I'd like to participate in it again this year, with the novel idea I've had brewing for a few years. During that time it has morphed, and changed, and I'm not even convinced it's my best idea.  But I feel stuck in my writing, as if I need to get this novel out of me before I can move on. I'd love if it turns into something more than a draft saved to my computer — but more likely, it will be a learning experience. A failure only in the strictest sense — that it won't be published; but, a success in that I'll finally feel free to write whatever, whenever (and know that I can sustain writing for the length of a novel).

Reminding oneself that each failure is a learning experience is the opposite of a revelation — it's advice that's been around, well, forever. But maybe it is that simple — realizing the positives that will come along with what I'd been considering inevitable failure: inevitable successes, if you will. There is a spectrum of success after all; if I can learn one thing from each failed writing project, it won't have been a waste.