How to start writing

A brief bit of encouragement for anyone whose ever dreamed of writing

We all know some great stories

Everyone has a story in their head. It might be something you made up. It might be something you heard, and it’s stuck with you. The easiest way to start writing is to start with something you already know well. Just writing things down can be intimidating. This is a way to break through the fear barrier. It’s the fear that keeps you from doing things. We often blame it on procrastination, but actually, it’s fear that stops us.

To break through that fear you need a success. Any success will do. So pick something easy. Once you’ve succeeded once, it makes doing something again much easier. 

Write it down!

So first of all, write down what you already have in your head. Write a story you already know. It may be one you’ve already told a hundred times. That’s perfect. Put it down on paper type it into your computer. 

If you don’t write a lot at this point, it will be clunky. Don’t worry about how good it is, or how long it is or how well it matches other stories you’ve ever read. Your challenge right now is to get a full, complete story out of your head and down where everyone can see it.

Don’t change things as you go along, just write. Editing and honing uses a different part of the brain so don’t distract yourself with this.

Celebrate your achievement

Once you’re done. Once you’ve written a story from the start to the very end. Once you have something with a beginning, middle and end give a cheer. Reward yourself with a pat on the back and the indulgence of your choice. Eat a bar of chocolate. Buy a celebratory trinket or do whatever you fancy.

Why? Because, even if it’s short, you’ve achieved something. Something that most people have thought about but very few have ever actually done. You have followed through with your story and finished it.

This is really, really important. Write something down. I can’t stress that enough. If you over think your project before you get your story out, you may never get it done. 

Don’t over-plan

This is not an exaggeration. I have seen so many people spend hours on planning. And then spend hours on research. And more hours on getting a perfect first sentence. Their intentions are good. They want to write the best possible story on their first attempt. They spend so much time in preparation, that the story, the whole story, never gets written.

So even if it isn’t perfect. And it won’t be, not the first time around, you can be proud of your achievement. Do a happy dance. You have just succeeded. The next blog will cover what you do next.