After weeks of delaying this process, convincing myself I’m not ready to start and battling self-doubt disguised as “preparation”, I’m finally writing my first blog post. Typically, when I write, the words come without stopping. I can hardly keep up with my thoughts, and I rarely think about where I’m going, I just know I’ll end up there if I trust my pen (or keyboard). Not so with this blog.
There is something truly terrifying (albeit exciting) about writing words which could someday be read by other people. This is entirely different from my free-writing exercises I do for fun. The bargaining began. I’ll take one more online class. I’ll brainstorm one more week. Do I even have proper grammar? I’ll get input from one more person. Add it all up, and here I am a month later with no blog to show, despite my best intentions. How did I overcome this, you ask? I tricked myself. I decided to begin with a false start.
You see, I’m a runner. I have been since the eighth grade (probably sooner if I think hard enough). I ran cross country and track throughout my high school and collegiate years and even tackled a few marathons in my adult life. All runners can relate to the mindset just before a race when your nerves are rampant, overwhelming and frankly, nauseating. However, once the gun goes off you have no choice but to focus. The race has started, and there is no turning back. Or is there? You hear the gun pop a second time, and your heart drops, along with the audible sigh of the onlooking crowd. A false start. Someone jumped the line too soon, or worse, someone got tripped up at the beginning of the race. So what happens? Everyone goes back to the starting line, and you begin all over again. A second start. This time without the nerves, but with sheer focus.
I decided to think about my blog exactly like this. Today I begin my blog, but to calm my nerves, I’ve convinced myself this isn’t my first blog post. It’s a false start. There are too many things I’d want to say in my first blog post ever. I’d want to inspire my readers, make them laugh, thank people, and explain a bit about who I am. I want to establish my “voice” as they say, I’d want to create a plan or theme, I’d want my words to succinctly and light-heartedly tell my readers about my passions and personality. That’s simply too much pressure, and let’s be honest, who would read such a long blog post?
It’s final. Today is the (false) start of my blog. No more pressure. The race has started, I’ll work out the kinks as I go, make some friends along the way, throw in a little trash talk because my competitive side cannot be tamed, inspire a few people, and more than anything, today I’ll calm my nerves the best way I know how. Starting.