JuicyMaters covers a lot of topics, but how-tos on writing has never been one of them I don’t think…Until now.
I got a comment today on one of my posts that was complementary about the blog, and that asked how I get started writing. I figure there are others out there who have blogs, or maybe want to write the next Great American Novel, and either way wonder the same thing. So, here is the comment/question and my reply for those who are interested:
First off I would like to say awesome blog!
I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.
I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your mind prior to writing.
I have had a difficult time clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out there.
I do enjoy writing however it just seems like the
first 10 to 15 minutes are generally lost just
trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or hints?
Gotta love that first line!
You’ll find this answer frustrating, but its what works…at least for me.
Like Nike…Just Do It.
Get organized, block out a regular amount of time…15 minutes every Tuesday at noon or 2 hours a day every day at 10pm…it doesn’t matter, but have a “writing time”. If you are using a computer log off of the net, crank up your word processor application, and do it. If you write better when doing it longhand, have pencil and paper ready ahead of time so when its writing time you are ready, turn off the cell phone, and do it.
The point is to be ready and get rid of all distractions.
Set a certain amount of time to write, and a break of a specific length…say, write for 20 minutes then break for 5…and stick to it. I sit at the computer to write for 30 minutes then take a 10 minute break, then back to it. And…this is the critical part…writing time is for writing, PERIOD. Not writing and watching TV, not writing and making (or taking) a phone call, o9r adjusting the radio to a different station.
That blank screen will drive you nuts…but too bad. Your choices are write or stare at an empty screen. Do you realize just how long 30 minutes is when you are staring at an empty screen? An eternity.
So…you will write something…ANYTHING…to quit staring at the empty screen (or empty sheet of paper) and you know what? Eventually what you write just to fill the screen will get better and better, I promise.
Bottom line…be like Nike…Just Do It.