Writing in General: One Step At A Time

It’s been said that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. It’s been said so often, in fact, that most people gloss over what happens after that first step. Most people don’t know that there are over two thousand steps in one mile; and very few have taken that extra – well, step – to determine that there are over two million steps in one thousand miles.

That alone tells us something far, far more enlightening than Lao-Tzu’s proverb; we place so much emphasis on beginning things and ending things. We forget about everything in between. Some steps are larger than others, but they are still steps; there are two million of them to be taken in that lengthy journey, and it should never enter the mind that these middle steps are insignificant.

Think of your writing the same way. If you’re a beginning author, don’t imagine that your first sentence will be brilliant. In fact, don’t assume that the last one will be, either; focus on the path. Think about where you want to go, but remember that each sentence builds on the others before it, thousands at a time. You are walking the road, but you are also creating it simultaneously, brick by brick and step by step.

-Ryan

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2 responses to “Writing in General: One Step At A Time

  1. Good blog. I know lots of creatives, and they can be divided between the ones who just take the first step, and the ones who place value on EVERY step. I was thinking today of an artist I once knew. Driven by financial need, she had taken a job as a cleaner in a big corporation. She would take pieces of scrap paper from the garbage bin and take them home and stick them on her loungeroom wall. Day by day she added to this collage, experimenting with the colours, lines and scrawlings on the papers she found. This art work never found its way into a gallery, but it was her way of keeping her artist’s instincts alive during her time as a cleaner. For me, she was concentrating on those intermediary steps.

  2. I don’t imagine that my first novella will be brilliant.. but I hope that it will at least get some attention!

    I think that there is always room for improvement and writing is definitely a learning process. I also find it helpful to read what other writers are saying. Reading about how someone else overcame an obstacle, helps me when I run into the same situation. 🙂

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