It is symptom of old age, that phrases one found insufferable as a child, now ring true with the beauty of truth.
So it is with my father’s favourite piece of advice: “Just sit down and do it.”
Ah, the number of times I heard this as I puzzled over how to start an essay, or new chapter. The thing was, my poor old father didn’t understand how tricky the problem was. You couldn’t just write … not just like that. There would always be at least half a dozen more articles to read, however loosely connected to the subject. And then one had to sort through the ideas – sift out the chaff one had so diligently and unnecessarily thrown in – shape the content, notice what your argument was. That sort of thing. And whilst my father might have a vague notion of some of these things, I don’t suppose he ever really understood the vital importance of assembling stationery – whether post-its, folders, index cards or coloured pens. These things took time, and they mattered.
And yet, and yet…
Annoyingly, it turns out he was probably right.
The best thing to do when confronted with any task, especially one you can’t quite face, is just to get on with it.
And actually, another thing I have noticed in my agéd wisdom, is that phrases one found insufferable as a child, are often the most fun to deliver as an adult. Oh the joy of just being right.
And what prompts all this: the back to school feeling that I have been neglecting my blog for too long. We’ll see if it works, shall we.