Friday, October 5, 2007


I've been thinking about yesterday's post, which touched on my feelings about the preparatory stages involved in whatever I'm doing ... and my frustration when the preparations cause delays.

It reminds me of a passage from E. L. Konigsburg’s novel, "The View from Saturday", wherein sixth-grader Noah learns calligraphy from Tillie, a friend of his grandparents. But before the calligraphy, comes the intricate, six-step process of filling the old-fashioned pen with ink. Noah narrates: "When I told Tillie that six steps seemed a lot to have to do before you begin, she said, 'You must think of those six steps not as the preparation for the beginning, but as the beginning itself.' "

My frustration with delays leaks into writing, too, where progress is tracked mostly by word-counts or page-counts. It helps me to remember Jerry Weinberg's counsel that "Writing" involves many stages … and the "writing down the words" part is but one of them.

Good advice, both, which I am learning to follow.

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