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Quit horsing around and make something with me!
It’s Monday, November 1, everybody!
It’s the FIRST DAY of the WEEK and the FIRST DAY of the MONTH. This doesn’t happen very often.
Look at all those ‘1’s!
No matter what ongoing projects might tug at me, waking up to a new week and a new month makes me feel like a horse at a starting gate – with a new outfit, a freshly sharpened pencil and a new blank journal.
Wait, don’t picture that. But do think for a minute about starting gates. In horse racing, it’s an actual gate to hold back horses so they can’t start running – individual, separated pens, side by side, with gates mechanized to open simultaneously. The gate is a barrier to contain the energy so horses start when we want them to – at the same precise moment.
The energy of all those horses held and then released creates its own electricity and yes, competition. Starting gates work for racehorses.
Whether we intended to or not, though, humans have plugged starting gates into pivotal places in our own lives: graduation from high school, graduation from college, and summer internships, for starters. Launching into adulthood is punctuated by holding back young people until we say it’s time to start – all together.
This kind of organized starting inspires some people, and it’s a total buzzkill for others. I’m not judging. But I’ve got to say, sometimes this life-launching ceremony looks like a herding process that keeps us in a race for what others want for us, instead of starting our own life quests.
I’m here to make a plug for the non-competitive starting gates. You know, those times when a lot of us are starting at the same time, but not all in the same direction or on the same track?
Times like mornings, or the beginning of a shift, or Monday, November 1, which I have declared the starting gate of ‘National Start Anything You Want Month.’ (It’s going to catch on, just give it minute.)
Shared starting gates give us a sense of togetherness. They make us feel like we’re rowing with the current, but in our own boats. They help us start fresh and fast, even when we’re doing something unique and solitary.
I learned the power of this several years ago when I participated in National Novel Writing Month (NANOWRIMO) https://nanowrimo.org. I wrote a novel in one month, along with thousands of people around the world. If you’ve ever wanted to write a novel, I so recommend it! More than 367,000 novels have been completed from this startfest, including some big bestsellers.
But I’m working on another book right now, called Start More Than You Can Finish, and I really, really need to finish it. But, oh how I wanted to tap this November starting energy. So I’ve decided on an abbreviated version. I’m going to write one sentence each day to finish a 30-sentence story on Nov. 30. Who wants to play?
Here’s what I’ve got from today. (I thought of it while I was brushing my teeth.)
If there’s something you want to start today, let’s do it together.
I’ll post my sentences every day on Instagram: @beckyblades2. Tell me what you’re starting, and I’ll follow.
Whatever you decide, please have the chat with your creative bada$$ self about how you begin making things you want to make. Your stARTing gates are yours to sculp. Do you know whether you’re ignited or immobilized by pre-ordained starting gates? Do you like competition? Do you like Monday morning fresh starts? Do your birthdays get you moving and reflecting, starting or finishing?
This self-awareness just might be a game changer. If starting on the first of a shiny new month isn’t your jam…
• Start when you “fall back” and Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, November 7, you have a whole extra hour!
• Start on your birthday
• Start a month before your birthday (I think you know why)
• Start on New Year’s Day
• Start on Groundhog Day
• Start when you see your shadow
• Start when you get my next newsletter (I don’t know when that will be; I have a book to finish.)