Pre-Start Checklist

There are times when I honestly wonder if I even like writing. For example, today I sat down to write and felt overwhelmed by the amount of work still to do for the second collection. I was frustrated with the lack of time, disappointed with the quality of my work, just all around unhappy.

So I wrote, but in my journal instead.

I realized a couple things:

  • Yes, I like writing!
  • The stuff that’s been “stressful” – having too many ideas, being exhausted at the end of a session – has actually been me being super excited about the thing I’m working on
  • I’ve never acknowledged my own “excitement”

Perhaps it’s the way I was raised, or my experiences up til now, but for anything big that has happened in my life, I’ve never taken a moment to say, hey self, this is an amazing opportunity! Enjoy it!

So I’m going to start doing what I’m calling a “pre-start checklist” – yes, I’m taking a page from my Naval Flight Officer days. In aviation, and especially in military aviation, there are checklists galore. Traditionally a “pre-start checklist” is done before you even get in the plane, to ensure both you and plane are fit to fly.

Here’s my first iteration:

  • Acknowledge the situation: This is something new and important, and it is through the grace and gratitude of everything and everyone – including my past self – that I am able to stand at this point and face this new opportunity. Thank you. 
  • Acknowledge the range of emotions that is to come: There will be excitement, obsession, uncertainty, fear, failure, hope, determination, and yes, joy.  I commit to accepting all of it, wholly and with honesty. 
  • Acknowledge that this will be but one moment in time: My worth is measured in more than the work I will achieve in these moments to come, but/and also how I achieve them, and who I become as I do. 

And now, let’s begin.

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