Starting again.

If you haven’t gone to the gym in a long time, how do you start again?

If you haven’t done a drawing in a long time, how do you start again?

If you haven’t written a blog post in a long time …. how do you start again?

You start by starting. By picking up a pen, a dumbbell, and getting to work. There is no magic trick, there is no massive process for preparation. There is simply the active of sitting down at the computer, opening a new document, and starting to type. It may seem painful, it may seem scary, but all that misery goes away as the first letters march onto the screen.

“What I try to do is write. I may write for two weeks ‘the cat sat on the mat, that is that, not a rat.’ And it might be just the most boring and awful stuff. But I try. When I’m writing, I write. And then it’s as if the muse is convinced that I’m serious and says, ‘Okay. Okay. I’ll come.'”     — Maya Angelou

21 thoughts on “Starting again.”

  1. Reblogged this on My Ectopic: A Pregnancy Experience and commented:
    Just start. I struggled with depression last winter and I found the only way to pull myself out of it was to just do it. Just start exercising again. Just start eating better. Just start being more positive. There’s no better time than now. Or in the TWW it’s just stop. Just stop thinking about it. Just stop worrying.

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  2. “…all that misery goes away as the first letters march onto the screen.” I am so glad you sat down at your computer, Danny. I have missed you and I needed this nudge.

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  3. well I am, really glad to read this “starting again post” in November and not in the first week of January when everyone seems obsessed with the topic. and don’t forget breaks are good too – well maybe not in all areas – but pauses in blog posts can keep everyone fresh – the poster and the reader – but with that said – glad you’re back amigo –

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  4. I love you and all that you stand for: love, pain, grief, happiness, moving on, encouragement, and leading by example with your art and words and not with a hammer. I would love to draw with you in New York, but I need more details as I am in San Diego.

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  5. Hi Danny love MA thank you. Finished a poster on to my next project. I also have long lapses between anything I do. but once I start it becomes an obsession0 It’s either feast or famine .

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  6. So true! Just starting is the trick. Once I start, I often do more than I thought I would. So it is always good to start, no matter how long away.
    Aloha, Kate

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  7. Reblogged this on Get a Loaf and commented:
    If I had to distill my personal philosophy or a truth that I’ve gleaned thus far, it would be “It just takes doing.” It’s true of running, writing, drawing, reading, knitting or simply being a friend.

    Yesterday, I chopped pounds of leeks, shallots, onions, carrots, fennel, celery root and herbs as brown rice bread baked. My soup and leek fritters weren’t going to exist if I didn’t grab that knife. Same with bread—a series of steps have to occur to rouse the starter from the fridge, build and develop the dough, divide and shape the loaves before shoving it into the oven for its final transformation. Dinner was fantastic, but, more importantly, it existed. The work was the getting there.

    Yet, it’s so easy to forget. Too often I am lost in a fog of yearning for how things (or I) used to be, or whining about an allegedly unobtainable ideal or achievement. There’s no awareness that the path is right there. Granted, I may never be able to create EVERYthing I desire, but I can move in that direction.

    Danny Gregory’s post this morning drove this home for me… especially as someone who gets paralyzed in self-judgement and tends to look backwards at old accomplishments and fantasizes about future ones, but fails to be active in the now.

    First step, start doing.

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  8. Thank you for posting this. Forgive me for reblogging without permission. I was so moved this morning I seized the opportunity to type some thoughts and get it out there. As always, you inspire.

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  9. We were speaking about this at dinner last night. So many times we are paralyzed because we do not know where (or how!) to start. Taking the first step is hard, but the second step will be easier. The feeling that you are doing something (anything!) to make things better can be very healing.

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  10. Dear Danny Gregory:

    Thank you for your wonderful email of perfect words! – – I feel a sincere gratefulness that the classes are there for me!
    I have my journal ready for me to make marks in it! Yes yes — it’s all in the practice!

    Moving out of that tunnel into the light!!
    elizabeth

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  11. Yes, I’ve scared myself into doing nothing a few times just thinking about the starting part and wondering if I can really do it.
    Hey, your book cover looks very inviting. The title is perfect. Pulls me in. Cheers-Darlene

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  12. I truly appreciate this post and am grateful for the legacy that we have in these wonderful words of Maya Angelou. What a woman!! I think I struggle with writing or drawing because it doesn’t come naturally to me. Friends and family can sketch out true works of art in a matter of no time and I’m erasing over and over again and after much more effort achieve something I’m content with.

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  13. Are you Danny ? I’m Korean. I read your book. And I am your fan. I don’t speak English well , but I sincerely like you and your books . I want to talk with you through computer. You know my speech , don’t you ? HAHA ! Bye !

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