(I started this in the first week of June, as I was wrapping up my final paper for my unit at university, then forgot about it until now. So, here it is.)
This is bizarre. I’m scared to start writing, but when I get going I actually think it’s OK.
I was wrong. I only got 75 for the final paper for the unit, which meant I got a 78 overall, meaning a Distinction and not a High Distinction.
OTOH, I was right, in that any further delay would have made for a worse final product, not a better one.
And by “start,” I mean start again every day/session. It’s very hard to start when you’re crippled by fear and anxiety.
I need to remember that the fear is of starting, not of the doing (so much).
I was terrified of starting uni. Within a couple of months, I was terrified I wouldn’t get all HDs. (I didn’t get all HDs, but I did top our class when we graduated.)
I was terrified of starting a radio show at Curtin radio, and we ran it for well over two years, and it was great, and I did radio for years at a variety of stations and formats.
I was terrified of starting my job at the AFL website, and a few years later, they moved me from Perth to Melbourne to be the senior reporter in the newsroom there.
I was terrified of starting as a fulltime sports journo at Ch10, and while I wasn’t great, I was competent (before the depression and anxiety struck, and I had to resign. It’s just possible that TV isn’t the best environment for someone with those tendencies, I suspect 🙂
I was terrified of taking photography seriously, and ended up shooting weddings (well) and taking images like the one at the top of the post. (Rolling Stone’s first photographer, Baron Wolman, in Melbourne to open his exhibition that is running to promote his book launch. Terrific bloke.)
I was terrified of starting my honours at Monash, and while I wasn’t great, I did pretty well for having not been studying for 15 years.
I was terrified of starting every writing session for my Communications Concepts papers, and while I didn’t get an HD, I got a High D.
Which means I need to get an 81 for my thesis to get an HD/first-class honours, which is almost exactly the same as 80, so a minuscule difference.
So overall, the fear of starting has been COMPLETELY unjustified, so I just need to start, and remember that I can beat the fear of starting by simply actually starting and working hard.
Am I going to be the most brilliant person in the honours course? No, I am not. (I may well have the highest IQ, I don’t know, but that’s utterly irrelevant, as my life so far has demonstrated.) But I can be the hardest-working, that’s up to me. As a footy coach I once worked with said: “You can’t control your ability, but you can control your work ethic.”
And that includes STARTING, because without that, you’ve literally got nothing to show for all the thinking, reading, researching, and so on.
JUST START, juice. JUST START.