Famous Last Words: Getting Started
If you are sitting and looking at a blank computer screen (or a blank piece of paper), you'll never get started.
I am reminded of the great wit, writer and actor of the 1930s and 40s, Robert Benchley (1889-1945), grandfather of Peter ("Jaws") Benchley. One day, under deadline and suffering from a severe hangover, Benchley was sitting in his room at the Algonquin Hotel in New York staring at a blank piece of paper in his typewriter. To get started he typed the word "The."
Benchley rose from his chair, walked to the window and, glancing at his watch, realized the gang of regulars was assembling for a splendid lunch of booze and bon mots at the legendary Round Table downstairs—Dorothy Parker, Groucho Marx, George S. Kaufman, Alexander Wolcott, New Yorker editor Harold Ross and others.
Benchley returned to the typewriter and stared at the "The" for a long time. In a burst of inspiration, he completed the sentence. It read, "The hell with it."
Whereupon he took the elevator down to join the party.
Ted Nicholas on
Ted Nicholas is a legendary direct marketer, entrepreneur, publisher, copywriter and teacher. In his classic book, "The Golden Mailbox," he wrote:
1. Clear your mind. For some persons, this might mean lying down for a few minutes before going to work. For others, it could mean jumping in the pool or jogging around a track. Frolic, spend time with someone you love or go dancing. Do whatever comes naturally to you in order to have a clear mind for creative purposes.
2. Never write when you're tired. You're not going to try to drive or operate machinery when you're tired. Don't try to write if you're fatigued.
3. Never write when you're busy. If there are other demands pressing on you, tend to them first. I don't think anyone can write well when watching the clock. Don't try to write if you have appointments later in the day or errands to run.