That was the hard part. I brainstormed and brainstormed and ended up with a list of inane phrases. None of them worked. Some were good, some were cliche, and some were just awful. I was getting so desperate that "Will write for guacamole" and "Don't forget the toilet paper" were looking good.
It was while I was pondering what I should get done that day (since the blog project was stalled), I realized I was thinking about what frog I should swallow first. It hit me--and that as a writer, sometimes the very act of writing is the frog that I stare down everyday.
No, I do not literally eat frogs. It was a phrase that I had picked up somewhere in the libraries of self-help books I'm always skimming and forgetting. Out of all the things I've read, that was the image that had stuck, and whenever I set out to be productive, I thought about my big, intimidating to-do items as frogs. When the inspiration for the title hit me, I looked up the quote. Turns out, the person who's credited with the phrase is Mark Twain, and he had several interesting quotes about eating frogs:
“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”
If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first.
And so begins my blog. Now that we're on the same page (my spouse had not heard of the phrase and apparently the term swallowing has other connotations. Who knew?), I want to clarify how this phrase applies to my writing. I like to write. Sometimes I sit down and the words flow and I come up with brilliant things that I never could have thought of if I tried. Sometimes I sit down and I barely manage to slug through the uninspired plot point that I had come up with the day before. Those days suck, and they're hard, and I dread them. I also dread that nagging feeling that what I'm writing is crap--such horrible crap that people will throw parties to laugh about how bad my writing is. So as much as I want to write, I sometimes feel like sitting down at the keyboard is like sitting down to pet a cobra--it's dangerous. And scary. And yet, it's the most important thing I do in any given day. I believe firmly in writing every single day to get better at it. I might not always practice this philosophy, but I try. And that means every day I stare down a really big, important frog.
So here's to everyone out there who has the courage to swallow their frogs, face their fears, and get things done.