Like a tiny little seedling, an idea for a book has been germinating in your brain for months now. Every time you think on it, you grow more and more excited to finally put pen to paper and let the words spring to life.
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There is just one problem. Somehow, you just can’t get started. No matter how hard you try or how much you want to, you can’t seem to make Chapter 1 a reality.
You are not alone. And there are many reasons for it. Call it procrastination or laziness, the fact is many writers experience a little stage fright when it comes to writing that first chapter.
Let’s face it — we all are in love with the dream of writing the next great American novel. But, to actually sweat, toil and labor over something that sits so perfectly untouched in our minds is another thing altogether.
So, how to get started? Read on for a few tips:
Reach out. Sometimes just talking with a friend or a writing colleague will give you the jump start you need to get busy on the page. Share with them the bare bones of your vision and ask for their input on what scene or words would be most compelling from a reader’s standpoint.
Buy in. In order to be a writer, you must behave like a writer. Carry around a notebook or a voice recorder. Take notes, ask questions, listen in on conversations. Be active in life and take notes as you go along. Believe that you are a creator of words and stories.
Settle down. Search for or create a writing environment that allows you to feel creative, inspired and productive. Light candles. Listen to music. Squirrel yourself away in the corner of a library or coffee shop.
Step up. Stop making excuses for why you can’t write and start making firm commitments to a time when you will finally sit down to write. And then do it. Set a timer and keep yourself honest by not leaving your desk until you have written a certain number of words or at least an opening paragraph.
Kerri S. Mabee