Quote of the Day: Half Begun Is Well Done

 

‘Begin – to begin is half the work, let half still remain; again begin this, and thou wilt have finished.’ – Marcus Aurelius.

‘The most effective way to do it, is to do it.’ – Amelia Earhart.

This post could very nearly have begun with Douglas Adams’s line about deadlines: ‘I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.’ Thus were my sentiments when I remembered . . . “Oh, the 02nd of May – that’s tomorrow, isn’t it?” So, I’d best begin. Aha! Congratulate me, gentlemen (and ladies, naturally), I’ve found the perfect segue!

When it comes down to it, there’s no substitute, or so this ancient cosmic wisdom goes, for doing whatever it is you wish to do – no planning, no having to think about it before you can think about beginning to do it – just doing it.

How do we do that? We begin. We make tiny faltering steps (‘haphazardly’ and ‘badly’ if need be) – or even a great big sweeping beginning with big swooshing strokes in a nice freehand – and just get on with it. Rough and ready, if need be. Letting it find its own flow with the odd natural pause for reflection if that suits. But just setting out to commence and doing it.

There, that wasn’t so hard, was it?

Published in Group Writing
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  1. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Some things I have begun a hundred times. Does that mean I finished them fifty?

    • #1
  2. Andrew Miller Member
    Andrew Miller
    @AndrewMiller

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Some things I have begun a hundred times. Does that mean I finished them fifty?

    Ah, well, nothing is wasted, you know. It’ll surface somehow.

    • #2
  3. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Andrew Miller (View Comment):
    It’ll surface somehow.

    I’ve heard about things that float to the top.

    • #3
  4. Andrew Miller Member
    Andrew Miller
    @AndrewMiller

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Andrew Miller (View Comment):
    It’ll surface somehow.

    I’ve heard about things that float to the top.

    Dairy I ask more? Or butter not, perhaps?

    • #4
  5. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Andrew Miller (View Comment):
    Or butter not, perhaps?

    Don’t let your mind churn over it.

    • #5
  6. Andrew Miller Member
    Andrew Miller
    @AndrewMiller

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Andrew Miller (View Comment):
    Or butter not, perhaps?

    Don’t let your mind churn over it.

    You don’t think we’re milking this joke, do you?

    • #6
  7. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Andrew Miller (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Andrew Miller (View Comment):
    Or butter not, perhaps?

    Don’t let your mind churn over it.

    You don’t think we’re milking this joke, do you?

    It might be getting a bit cheesy.

    • #7
  8. Andrew Miller Member
    Andrew Miller
    @AndrewMiller

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Andrew Miller (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Andrew Miller (View Comment):
    Or butter not, perhaps?

    Don’t let your mind churn over it.

    You don’t think we’re milking this joke, do you?

    It might be getting a bit cheesy.

    Discretion is the better part of Velveeta then, maybe?

    • #8
  9. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Andrew Miller (View Comment):
    Discretion is the better part of Velveeta then, maybe?

    Be careful what you’re cutting.

    • #9
  10. Andrew Miller Member
    Andrew Miller
    @AndrewMiller

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Andrew Miller (View Comment):
    Discretion is the better part of Velveeta then, maybe?

    Be careful what you’re cutting.

    Who was that mascarpone’d man?

    • #10
  11. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    I think my paternal grandmother (who died when I was an infant) would have been on board with this post.  She didn’t let the grass grow under her feet, and one of her favorite sayings was “I’m well forward,” meaning that she’d begun the project (and she had many), and was on her way to finishing it.

    ***

    This is the Quote of the Day. Our sign-up sheet for May is here.  If you’re new at this game, it’s a easy way to get your feet wet and start a conversation; if you’re an old-timer, you already know the ropes.  Either way, please sign up to speak up.

    Another ongoing project to encourage new voices is our Group Writing Project. May’s theme is “May Day, Mayday, May Days.” If you’re looking to share your own thoughts rather than those of others, please sign up for Group Writing too!

    • #11
  12. Andrew Miller Member
    Andrew Miller
    @AndrewMiller

    She (View Comment):

    I think my paternal grandmother (who died when I was an infant) would have been on board with this post. She didn’t let the grass grow under her feet, and one of her favorite sayings was “I’m well forward,” meaning that she’d begun the project (and she had many), and was on her way to finishing it.

    ***

    This is the Quote of the Day. Our sign-up sheet for May is here. If you’re new at this game, it’s a easy way to get your feet wet and start a conversation; if you’re an old-timer, you already know the ropes. Either way, please sign up to speak up.

    Another ongoing project to encourage new voices is our Group Writing Project. May’s theme is “May Day, Mayday, May Days.” If you’re looking to share your own thoughts rather than those of others, please sign up for Group Writing too!

    This is a saying that could bear looking into more and could stand more currency. 

    • #12
  13. Andrew Miller Member
    Andrew Miller
    @AndrewMiller

    Speaking of taking your own medicine, just stepped out to start pruning the grape vine in the garden. On a previous occasion I’ve trained and tied it in much more elaborately, and it looked nice, but this year I’m just sort of directing it a little where I want it to go, lightly tying or hooking in some of the stems, and taking a little off here and there (last year it was pruned back within an inch of its life). I’m hoping to see grapes this year — and really grow good grapes, too. You can preserve grapes by hanging the bunch from the cut stem in a bottle of water (with or without a bit suitable charcoal in it to keep it sweet, so sayeth The Victorian Kitchen Garden), and they’ll keep for months that way, apparently. Anyway, what was my point (I’m sure I had one) . . .

    • #13
  14. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Andrew Miller (View Comment):
    You can preserve grapes by. . .

    Getting them into drinkable form.

    • #14
  15. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    It took me a moment to resolve the fact that the title was indeed familiar but switched around. Like the musical titled, “The Roar of the Greasepaint, the Smell of the Crowd”. Or the line in Yes’s “Roundabout”, “The mountains dance and sing, they make the children really ring”. 

    In fact. all of these examples, including Andrew’s, were made in the UK, our language’s birthplace and still its playground. 

    • #15