Musings, writing

Starting Small

The longer I think about writing something, ideas seem to bundle up in my head, bottlenecking at the narrow throughway of whatever region in my brain is responsible for second-guessing myself. It’s some common advice, but my friend has set a very tangible example for me to follow: start small. So here I am, trying to write in under 30 minutes and less than a novella.

I’ll never forget this textbook explanation about children with ADD abandoning a task:

Let’s say that children have messy rooms. One parent tells the child to clean the room. Without glee, and with some coercion I’m sure, the kid begins to put toys away in the chest – one by one. Children with ADD are likely to look at the mess before them, and become so overwhelmed that they feel this task is impossible – which usually results with a tantrum of some sort, refusing to clean the room.

What the book explains is that we all shift our perspectives back and forth between big picture and little details. Working on a large task requires you to shift your attention to the little detail required to begin the task — the “step one” of getting it done. I think our understanding of ADD is (or wasn’t) very refined and this difficulty applies to just about anyone. I never get around to writing because it seems impossible to encapsulate whatever I’m thinking about into a digestible, relatively short blog piece. When I do get started, I have just as much difficulty shifting my attention back to the big picture, and as you can see right now, end up following one thread to the death. Whew! Okay. End thought.

Goal #2: Keeping it small

I will spare you, dear reader, and cut this short. This was a nice little post about starting to write (I’ve done this before); I hope that I come back again tomorrow and write again. Here’s to more interesting topics!

Did you know that our planet used to have forests of giant mushrooms? #coolstuff