Take Hold of Your Nerves and Jump


This morning I started reading a delightful little book called, “How to Live on 24 Hours a Day”, written by Arnold Bennett in 1910. Sexist? Definitely! But you have to read it aware of the time the words were written. I found this little treasure amongst free books on Amazon and, being the sucker I am for time management books, (most of which advice never gets put into practice), I couldn’t resist grabbing this free read.

I’d only read about a third – it’s only 52 pages – when an appealing little gem of a quote captured my attention.  The  quote can apply to anyone contemplating doing anything, but I think is especially applicable to writers. It reads …

There is no magic method of beginning. If a man standing on the edge of a swimming-bath and wanting to jump into the cold water should ask you, “How do I begin to jump?” you would merely reply, “Just jump. Take hold of your nerves, and jump.”

I can’t count the number of times I’ve had a good idea I wanted to write about and sat staring at the blank screen or page, not knowing how to start. Of course, once I’ve convinced myself I should start writing, ideas flow and as often as not the beginning jumps out at me half way through. If I hadn’t started I’d still be sitting there, like the man wanting to jump into the pool, wondering how to do it.

So, my advice to you all, whether writers or not, when deciding to do something for the first time, don’t worry too much about how to begin. If you’ve decided to do something, be bold, take the plunge and do it.

As Arnold Bennett says, “Take hold of your nerves and jump.”

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