Diving in and The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

Starting my new book, not without trepidation

While waiting for the right time to begin that novel you’ve been thinking about, or to take that trip or write that song, the days march on.  We give our precious time to obligations that have nothing at all to do with our heartfelt dreams.  Or when the opportunity finally arises, we feel overwhelmed by the size of the task and don’t know where to begin. I feel this way every time I start a new book (as in now) or essay.  There is just one thing to be done: dive in.

Begin anywhere, begin badly.  Almost all writers write terrible rough drafts, initial pages are crumpled into balls and tossed in the waste basket.  I’m pretty sure that little of what I wrote today is salvageable, but that’s beside the point.  I know that if I keep writing, and if I persist through a very long and painful struggle, the story will unfold.  The only obstacle is an over abundance of caution, a fear of failure, the caution of T.S. Eliot’s J. Alfred Prufrock:

Shall I part my hair behind?   Do I dare to eat a peach?

Don’t be like Alfred.  Be willing to look a little foolish and have fun with it.  There is no time like today to reach for your heart’s desire.

Daring to eat a peach

About Mary A. Osborne

Mary A. Osborne is a contributor at Parabola magazine and the author of Alchemy's Daughter and Nonna's Book of Mysteries.
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