The best way to start something is to tell everyone that you're going to start something.
Make it public. Get it out of your head and start pitching to friends and foes. Converse. To me, this is not only the moment that the pressure gets on... it's also the moment that ideas come out of my head for a reality check.
I'm sure you know that feeling when for the very first time you talk to someone else about "your new thing", and you feel that, even literally while you're talking, you're constantly discovering holes and illogical things all over the place. No matter how much you've thought it through on beforehand. And after a while, you even start to think: "come on, didn't I realize this, or this, or even this? What on earth was i thinking?". And you see the frowns and feel like going back to the drawing board all over again.
Don't go back. You're fine.
Here's the key: I believe that pitching to friends (and foes) is a necessary process for "maturing" an idea. Some things really only get revealed through dialogue. The people you talk to act kind of like a secret group of touchstones for your idea, and only you know. They help shape. In my case, most of these people don't have anything to do with photography... yet others are seasoned pros... most even don't know they are actually giving me advice... and more often than not, I don't even realize that I'm in need - or getting - advice in the first place.
The only prerequisite is that you have to be open for it happening. And within every single person you're looking for something specific, picking up on body language, hesitation, excitement, the way they react, the words they use, and so forth.
Don't get me wrong, it's not a straightforward "letting yourself be influenced by others"... that would be too far off as well. The spine has to be there first. That's what all the long pondering has been for. And sometimes a pitch works in really weird ways.... I, for one, have someone to whom I regularly propose things to; and if she really hates the project, I know for sure I should go for it. Well, sort of :-)
To me, the pitch is always the most daunting aspect of any project. If i allow it, it can totally make or break my mood or my will to do a project. But I know that I should never avoid it... because realizing at this point that a project needs to change, is much better that only realizing it later on... and possibly having lost lots of time and money.
So presenting my ideas to friends, even if frightening... seems necessary. Even though I've taught myself never to get put off completely.... I've often made much more sensible decisions along the way.... and always, always, my projects have benefited immensely.
How do you go about "reality checking" your project ideas? Do you do it at all?
Oh and by the way, I've just switched my site from wordpress to squarespace. Even though I've always been a web designer and I support and use open source whenever I can ( i love wordpress), I feel time has come that I should be focusing on photography and writing, and nothing else. And this platform makes that entirely possible... no small feat to accomplish... kudos to them.