Thursday, October 25, 2018

How Do I Get Started?

I can’t tell you how many times people have told me they want to write. Great! The world needs your story.

Years later they are still talking about writing. You see, it's easier said than done.

Every day we have to wake up and face hard tasks. Ones that in our imagination seem easy, but once faced with them, we are overwhelmed. How does one get started with a great idea?

I recall one such dilemma I encountered. When I was in high school I wanted to start a club for kids in a housing project down the road. These children didn’t have access to the swimming pool or after-school softball or soccer teams where you have to pay for membership. They had very few opportunities for fun and organized recreation. My idea was to present games, crafts, treats, and mentoring.

This was before the Internet, before social media. How in the world would I be able to get something like this going? It’s not like you can just go into an open field on the property and gather up loose kids.

But that’s what I did. With a giant Earth ball.

I went to a place—maybe it was the YMCA—and told them my idea. They rented me a big, big ball. I’m not sure how I got it in my VW “Bug” and to the housing project. I wedged the ball out of my car and stood in the open field. My heart beat hard in my chest. My head kept telling me if this isn’t one of the most stupid things you’ve ever done, than I don’t know what. No one is going to come. My mouth was dry—I couldn’t even whistle.

A little girl ran outside, curious about what I was doing. I mean little. She was height challenged. So probably older than she looked. I told her to go get her brothers and sisters. She ran away. Well that’s that, I thought. After awhile (she had very short legs) she ran back with them. I told them to go get their friends. A few minutes passed. Well, that was a mistake; I should’ve just been happy with a few kids. But then, they ran back with a whole bunch of kids.

Now what? I hadn’t thought about what we were going to do with the Earth ball. So I made something up. We played tug-of-war, a kind of fatalistic rugby where we pushed it back and forth trying to roll it over the opposing side. I think we called it “Killer Ball.” Then we had Kool-Aid and I handed out little slips of paper inviting them and their friends back next week. Eventually I was able to use a community room at the housing project and do indoor crafts when the weather turned.

How do you get started on a great idea—you just do it. You step off into darkness, into the unknown . This isn’t quite like the Romanovs walking into a windowless room, more like crossing a tall bridge where there might be trolls—if they existed. How do you know?

Unless you try.

Image result for kids pushing a giant Earth ball

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