How to Get Started Writing

I often find that the getting started part is the hardest when it comes to writing, well, when it comes to anything for that matter. Perfect example. I hate to wash dishes. And I will just look at that sink full of dirty dishes and think, “Uggggghhhhhhh……….I don’t WANT to wash the dishes!!” But, if I can just force myself to start them, then I actually find the work enjoyable, taking something dirty and making it clean again. I enjoy the empty sink, and dishes that are either ready for use again or in the dishwasher. And, to my surprise, the act of washing the dishes didn’t kill me, nor did it take two hours. The point is that I often feel the same way about writing. I stare at that blank screen and think, “Ugggggghhhhhhhh….I have NOTHING to write about!!” Can’t you just hear my nasal cry now? But, when I just force myself to start writing, anything, then suddenly words are flowing and the act of releasing them from my mind is freeing.

You’ve all been there, I know you have. You feel like you have a million ideas, hundreds of stories, but when you sit down to write it seems as though you have nothing to say. So you stare, and you stare, and you stare, and then you give up. Maybe you’re not a writer after all. Guess what? Every writer from William Shakespeare to Stephen King has had the same feeling. The trick is just to make yourself do it.

Just start. “But, I don’t have anything to write about,” you whine, let’s be honest it was a whine. Of course you do. You’ve lived a life haven’t you? Sit down at your computer, or typewriter, at the same time every day. Get into this routine. And then just start writing about your memories. Describe them as though you are telling someone who didn’t live through them. Maybe what you write will be bad…most likely what you write will be bad. That’s ok, in fact, it’s more than ok, it’s normal. But guess what, you aren’t going to show anyone what you write yet, so keep writing.

Then come back the next day and read what you wrote. Is it terrible? Ok, keep reading. Wait, did you find a little jewel hidden in all of those misspellings and run-on sentences? This is what writing looks like. You will never sit down and write out a Tolstoy-like novel. Not even Tolstoy did that. You just have to write, and then write some more, and then write some more until something strikes you. Then you take that and clean it up, and write some more, and write some more, and write some more.

Yes, writing is work. But if you are in this to be a writer, and not just a published author, which you will never be if you don’t write, then the work is worth it. If you want to be a writer, then you know the power of words, and the power of books, and you want to be a part of that. There’s your motivation. Every day, and I mean every day, when you sit down to write and you let out the whine, remember why you wanted to do this in the first place. You wanted to change/enhance/beautify people’s lives with the magic of words. So, get started writing, and keep starting every day, until something starts to take shape.

What is holding you back from writing? Share it with us in the comments section below.