I have a few buddies that are looking to start writing projects of their own now! I’m not saying it’s ALL because of me (haha), but I am very proud of them for even considering it. It’s a long drawn-out process that takes a great deal of self-motivation and discipline, the only fun part being the writing itself – and even that can get discouraging and frustrating early on.
Yeah, okay, way to encourage them, Krista.
I’m not trying to make writing seem like the hardest task in the world, because it really isn’t, I just know from experience that the image of being a writer is sometimes more fun than the reality. And the hardest part of it all? Starting.
As many writers will tell you, the most daunting sight in the world is a blank page. It’s also the most exhilarating. A pure, blank slate full of possible adventures, of new friends and meaningful conversations, of the greatest epic that humankind might ever read. Unfortunately, the pristine whiteness of potential becomes as tight as a straight-jacket when it comes time to set down the pen (hit the first keystroke). The mind is a marvelous and fantastic thing…it just doesn’t always translate well into coherent thought.
There must be a step around this endless blank, however, or the world would be full of novels without words, and that would just be silly. “What is this step, oh wise one?” you may ask. It’s actually very simple. You just put down the first word. And then another. It really doesn’t matter what you say in those first couple of lines – the editing comes later to make sure your introduction relates to the rest of your story – the important thing is that you’ve started. Once you have the rhythm of typing or writing, it’s easy to get lost in the images that will undoubtedly run through your mind if you have an idea of where the story will take you.
It’s the best advice I can give. Even knowing this, though, doesn’t stop me from now and again beating my fists against the wall with writer’s block or the dreaded creative silence. In that case, I tend to move onto writing something else, be it journaling or brainstorming for some other project. I have a post planned to discuss this “Wall” shortly.
My last piece of advice is something I offered to a friend only recently. Whenever I get stuck on what my first word should be, a good place to start is “The”.