“When You Can’t Get Started Writing” by Writing English is a great introduction to the old writer’s block or modern day blogger’s block, when you sit down at the computer with motivation but no inspiration.
I can’t tell you how many times people have come to me, holding an empty piece of paper, saying, “I have to write this letter and I don’t know how to begin.”
Whenever I sit down with someone to help them write, the first thing we do is talk. That helps the writer organize and focus on what he wants to say. So if you can’t get started writing, perhaps you can start by talking. When you can explain something clearly to another person, you’ve got the basis for writing it. If you happen to be all alone, that’s okay. Nobody will report you for talking to yourself.
Before we begin, I like to break the task into smaller steps – “doable doses,” as James Taylor calls them in one of his early songs. If writing doesn’t come easily to you, then thinking about the whole thing is too daunting. One little step is “doable”.
Don’t let the blank computer monitor screen intimidate you. There are tons of things to write about, but starting the writing part is hard.
I’m often so full of ideas for things I want to write about, I will race to the computer, start tapping away and then slow down, fade out, and stop. The well runs dry and I’m lost with nothing to write.
I have to ask myself if the original idea was good enough to write about? Was there enough information to talk about, or was it just a good idea?
The traditional format for writing a story is to have a beginning, middle, and end. Sometimes I have a great beginning, decent middle, but no ending. Other times I have a fabulous ending, but I’m not sure how to form that path to get to my destination.
Writing is hard work. Judy Rose’s tips on helping you get started writing are excellent tools to help you think out the process and get clear in your mind what you want to say as well as how you want to say it, filling in the beginning, middle, and end.
I’ll be writing more about blog writing here soon, so stay tuned for the tips and help you need to get past the “how do I start writing” phase.