Starting At The Beginning

This essay was first published in the Prologue issue of Rhymes With Seen zine.

I am good at beginnings. I am really good at them, actually. It’s my favorite part of any project, that phase right at the onset when the idea is shiny and all over your life and it doesn’t let you sleep because it wants to come out, when excitement is high over what the new project will be, when it is the best idea ever and you can’t wait for the world to see! It’s a magical time, the beginning; it truly is. It’s also short lived and full of lies.

Over the years I have had my fair share (and your share, and her share, too) of projects started, of moments spent in this beautiful bubble in time, that never went on to be anything beyond. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve finished a good number of projects as well, but by far I own more real estate in the graveyard of projects started but never finished than in the garden of projects done and sent into the world. It took me years to realize this about myself, and by that time I had done a fair amount of damage to my confidence and self-esteem, which didn’t help my creativity or work-ethic either.

I would dare say that in the last five years I have learned more about myself than at any other point in my life, and that renewed sense of self-discovery has informed how I go about tackling life in many areas, including my creative work. Realizing my propensity for beginnings but spotty record in following through to completion has meant that I’ve been able to work on that as a goal. Little by little I have learned to remain excited about projects through their lifetime, enjoying the different stages for what each of them bring. This is not unlike learning to like the seasons of the year for what each of them offer instead of bemoaning that it’s too hot in summer or too cold in winter (and if not instead, then at least as well as). I’m not gonna say that I don’t have any projects started and left hanging, but I can say that there are reasons why these have been put on hold instead of it being because of focusing on the new shiny, and that the number has dwindled, just as the number of projects completed has risen.

I say all that as a preamble to the important question that surely must be raised: Why am I starting a new project with Rhymes With Seen?

In 2018 I set myself a goal to start writing regularly again, and I got myself into the habit by blogging on a consistent basis. I blogged daily (taking weekends off) for just shy of six months, with regular blogging about three times a week for the rest of 2018. I got back in the habit of writing, loosened up my fingers, and got the words flowing in a variety of topics, some of which I had been hesitant to tackle before. I learned a lot about my capabilities as a writer during this exercise, and more importantly, I learned what my limits were in various areas. When it was time to start considering my project goals for 2019, I had a large amount of data to inform that decision, data that, frankly, I never had or truly considered before.

I have wanted to start my zine project since about July of 2018, and an old version of me would’ve just jumped right in with a lot of energy right at the start, along with everything else I had going on in my personal and professional life. I would’ve crashed and burned in a month, maybe two, without a doubt. Instead I made notes, let the idea simmer in the back burner, let it tease me with all its potential while I worked on completing the projects I already had going. When summer ended and fall came around, bringing in some unexpected life twists with the birth of my second daughter, I knew I had made the right decision to not jump in feet first. Now as winter (or what passes for winter in central Florida) rolls in, as the year comes to a close and I look to what’s ahead, I realized it was the right time to bring out that idea, to put it through the gauntlet of all that I had learned in 2018, and turn the end result into my project for the new year.

So why am I starting a new project with this zine? Because it’s time to let this project fly, and let Rhymes With Seen be seen. Because I’ve thought through the entirety of the project, and know what it will and won’t be. Because it will incorporate the lessons learned throughout the year, and in turn teach me new lessons to take forward. Because it brings all my writing areas of interest and makes them work towards a common goal. Because it will be a culmination of what I am as a writer at this point in my life, and set the stage for the writer I will be going forth. Because this project will have a beginning, middle, and end, and you, dear reader, will be able to hold me accountable for it.

This is the beginning of Rhymes With Seen and it is indeed magical. I hope you will join me throughout 2019 to discover the wonder inherent in the journey, and celebrate with me the completion a year from now.