I was teaching an advanced writing class as part of the many classes and training we offer to members of ThE Good Men Project, and afterwards in the Q&A someone commented: “I don’t have a question, but I really liked how you said ‘start somewhere, start anywhere’. Because I realized that is often what gets me stuck in my writing. I don’t know where to start.” That line was buried—deep in the presentation, the third sentence on the twelfth page of one of five different classes we offer to our community. But for Franklin that is what stood out, because that was what he needed to hear. That was where he was stuck. Other people have come to me with different pieces of the classes that they remembered. Often, the people I work with may bring up some point they learned days, weeks or months after the class. Sometimes they won’t even understand what I was really talking about until that much later. That is fine. That is how learning works.
And see, what is so great about these classes is that I am basically teaching you *everything* I can remember learning. Everything that changed me. Everything that had a big enough impact that I can remember the before and remember the after. Everything that got me real results. Every concept and framework for problem-solving I use today. Am I an advanced enough writer to teach an advanced writing course? Heck if I know. I’ve published three books, published poetry, performed in poetry slams, written and performed stand-up comedy, given a commencement address, written tv commercials that have won at Cannes and got displayed in MOMA. I have zero innate talent by the way—-it wasn’t until I was almost 40 that I even felt comfortable talking to people. My most often used phrase was “words fail me.”
But people change. And grow. And learn. And when I realized that words are such a powerful tool, a force for good, a force for change—I learned how to use them. How on earth did I start? I didn’t worry about starting at the beginning. Someone told me: “Start somewhere. Start anywhere.”