First Steps


No one begins

without thought of some end

or chosen path in mind


there is an inner current

a pull 

on the senses of time

and moment

a moving out

onto the sea

of wide possibility

anchored to a hope

the far country

will be home


I have always loved that quote about the journey of a thousand miles beginning with a single step. I love the sound of it and the idea behind it. But until not so long ago I didn’t take it seriously. A single step? Could one small action really make a difference? In the past several years, as I became aware that I am entering a new season of life, I’ve had lots of ideas. Creative endeavours of all kinds have filled my mind. I’ve imagined what I could do to start building the foundation for my future work. Some of those ideas were good; some weren’t. But they shared a common thread: I didn’t follow through on any of them. I would have a thought, tell myself that I was going to do something about it, and then find myself having a conversation in my head about all the reasons it wouldn’t work. As I said in last week’s post, it was quite comfortable to stay in that place. As long as I could talk myself out of doing anything, I could stay away from all the challenges that come your way when you try anything new. I could avoid the possibility of failure.

Towards the end of last year I realised that the frustration of not doing anything had begun to outweigh the benefits of staying in my comfort zone. I knew I had to decide what I loved and wanted to do, and take some action. For some time I had felt called to be more intentional about my writing. My first step was to find some courses and workshops to attend. I spent time online and received some suggestions from people. And this is where I began to learn the power of that single step. I attended a creative writing course that I found online, and the facilitator suggested I try my hand at writing magazine articles. I joined a writer’s group (with the same wonderful facilitator) and met women there who are as passionate about words as I am. Some are already published authors and offered valuable advice, insights and thoughts on my writing. I started to feel as though I could take myself seriously. And so, with some trepidation, I wrote my first article and submitted it to an editor for consideration. I was scared. But I did it anyway, and the editor decided to use my piece. What a boost to my confidence. A short while later I submitted something to another magazine and that one was accepted too. Each step has led to the next and I am slowly forming a picture in my mind of the way forward. I am struggling with finding the time to put it all into action, but thankfully I have people in my life who remind to look back and consider the progress already made.

The poem at the beginning of this post is one of mine. (Poetry is what I love most to write.) The far country seems a little closer than it did at the start of the year, even if on most days I wish it was even nearer. I am not sure of quite how I will get there, and I’m sure that when I do it will only be one stop along the way. What about you? I would love to hear from you about your journeys. Send me a note in the comments section and tell me your stories.


2 thoughts on “First Steps

  1. Oooohhh I love that you are now putting your poems into you musings – I love this one with the incredibly powerful last few lines

    a moving out

    onto the sea

    of wide possibility

    anchored to a hope

    the far country

    will be home

    anchored to a hope the far country will be home. That is a mantra for daily living especially on those days when everything feels overwhelming and there is too much stuff to do and not enough time to just be.

    you are such a teacher for me about making time to write – carving out the time. I talk about writing but don’t do it. so I watch you with wonder and you inspire me to look at my life to find a new rhythm in which writing is a part.

    Love you and your writing



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