Usually the hardest part of every blog I write is the very beginning sentence. I've literally erased and rewrote this particular beginning about 8 darn times. Why is starting something so hard? It's a huge risk actually. They always say first impressions are the most lasting. Most restaurants will fail after theri FIRST year of opening. With most songs, we remember the first lines so easily... the first lines or scenes of most popular novels and movies have become embedded in our brains... The first few moments are what capture or release the attention of those willing to give a chance to the vision of another. Nerve-wracking! However, I do feel as though writing may be one of the most casual ways of beginning something. Maybe that's why I feel I can do it every week without TOO much nervousness. Music, television, and movies on the other hand, are in another realm. Whenever I'm picking out a movie on Netflix, sometimes I just watch the opening scene to see if I'll be into committing a full hour and a half of my time. Point is, first impressions are very important in every aspect of creativity, business, and personal matters. It can make or break us.
What does your brain immediately associate with the above image? Star wars right? The power of a great opening line can prove to stand the test of time. By the way, thanks NO ONE for reminding me to write about Star Wars... terrible! The whole Star Wars conglomerate in itself is not even something that I'm particularly infatuated with, but I can respect the greatness it has become. After I saw the movie, I started researching where it all began, and how it reached the massive level of success that it is today. It is officially the most successful film merchandising franchise in the entire WORLD, valued at over 30 BILLION dollars. Also, interesting tid bit of information, the first Star Wars movie (which was technically the 4th episode) came out a day before my birthdate in 1977 (different year, obviously)! It took a lot of courage to share something so conceptually abstract as an epic space odyssey. There was a huge chance that people would not understand any of that galaxy mumbo jumbo. I've come to find out, it's not just the content of the story that matters, it's all about the presentation. The packaging! We have to learn how to present our story in a way that is relatable and recognized as the greatness that it is. I feel like I've talked about this before in another blog, but it's not entirely the content of what you say all the time, but how you say it that determines getting the point across... if that makes any sense.
Similarly, music also makes it's initial impressions on us within the first few seconds, or even the first minute. Sitting in a car for hours with the radio on, we begin to recognize songs almost immediately on the first beat. We judge right then and there wether or not we are going to change the station. It must be such a task for a new budding musician to figure out what their first single should be. It's their first mark on the world! Forever embedded in their musical career as their "debut". Using one of my favorite artists of all time as an example, the great Mariah Carey, her first single was the forever timeless "Vision of Love". There couldn't have been a more perfect song! Well, atleast I think. It was also a pretty daring choice considering it isn't upbeat at all, just her belting it out. However, it perfectly displayed her tremendous range, and just what her voice could do. it got everyone excited I'm sure. The thing is, for a person like me who didn't even hear her first single until knowing her other, more uptempo pop music, beforehand, it was delightfully surprising. Loved it!
As far as books and novels go, this is where the real stress comes in. As you know, I would like to write a book this year. What kind of book you may ask? Simple! A book that transcends the realms of the traditional and mundane. A book that encapsulates the geniusness of the avant garde literary art in my soul. See, simple. The problem I'm having is, where do I begin? Where does it all stem from? How do I gather all of my future readers to embark on this journey with me? I've even tried to come up with a title first, but I really can't settle. I've started so many books in the past, and none of them have felt right so far. I think that has something to do with the way I begin them.
Lastly, the most obvious form of first impressions, meeting new people! This one is extremely tough for me. I wear my emotions on my freakin sleeve. My first meeting with you can honestly go a number of ways... depending on mood, time restraints, number of people around, venue, everything really! It's hard to fully express the multiple facets of a gemini personality into one opening introduction. I suppose I could also apply the same principle of beginning with the end in mind with people I meet for the first time. Do I see myself seeing this person again? Do I see myself encountering this person on a regular basis? Would this person prove to be helpful in a situation or project for the future? Will this person get on my nerves (probably)? Sometimes when I meet new people that I think I will never see again, I like to have a little fun and fabricate things a bit... something as little as my name even, but be careful! If you do happen to see that person again, the initial meeting will be known in their head as a lie. This can even be true in relationships when people start off one way, but gradually shift to a different way. It doesn't even necessarily have to be something bad, but compared to the way you STARTED in the relationship, it just seems... misleading.
I know you all are probably sick of me talking about this darn 7 Habits of Highly Successful People book (even though that book is AMAZING), but the second habit is titled "Begin with the end in mind". Maybe when I'm writing the beginnings of my books, it's hard for me to see all the way through to the end. I never really look at where I want the book to go or end up. I'm just so excited about the beginning, as I'm sure a lot of people are with everything. Beginning something can always prove to be very new and exciting, but we can't lose focus of where we want to eventually end up. When we start something, we should always have a clear idea of where we want it to finish. Nobody starts a race not knowing where, how, or when (if ever) it will end right? That would be insane! So why do we do that in life? We have to think about what mark it is we want to make on the world... what we want to leave behind when it's all said and done. What will we be known for? When George Lucas BEGAN the Star wars saga with the FOURTH freakin episode, that means he KNEW where the story would end up. He wasn't just going with the flow. He KNEW in his heart of hearts that people would get it, be super into it, and watch the story unfold from the inside out.
Overall people, there are many many examples of how the way we start something can be extremely influential to the outcome. It really is a good idea to begin with the end in mind. I should probably follow my own advice too, because I know that often these blogs take huge tangents. Alas, those who can't do, teach! But seriously though, I will work on it. I'm a work in progress people! Even though I've probably made starting things seem like a very frustrating task, it can definitely all be so very worth it in the end. We have to have faith in ourselves... in our vision! Of love! Mariah Carey is awesome.
p.s. The book that I just finished reading "The Witch of Portobello" is a great example of beginning with the end. The story starts off with the main character dead! That sure captured my attention. I really wanted to know what happened to her. But you better believe I didn't find out until the very last few pages.
p.p.s. Perhaps I need to take it back to the old school and make an outline first before I start writing this book. That way, I can atleast know what direction I'll be headed in, and the overall structure.
p.p.p.s. Endings are sooooo much easier. See!