It happens some days — you want to write, you feel you have to, but you just don’t know how to start. It’s not that you don’t have ideas. You have too many.
Anything that comes to mind. However bad or embarrassing. You don’t have to show it to the world, not all of it, at least. You can throw away the first pages.
Summon the past
Our past is full of unsaid words. Through writing, we can use the past as a ladder of sorts to climb among the clouds of inspiration. Remember something, anything, and build your writing on that.
Write your thoughts in real time
I am thinking about what to write. I don’t know what to write. This is not well. It’s embarrassing. This kind of real time writing can be like a warm-up — something that helps you get started.
Leave your writing unfinished
It can be an unfinished chapter, an unfinished paragraph, or even an unfinished sentence. Hemingway did it. He always stopped writing when the going was still good. That way he could pick up the thread the following morning. Stopping before writing all you want to write can be frustrating. Almost like getting up from the bed when making love with someone. You itch to get back.
Don’t try too hard
The great thing about writing is the act of writing itself, how it effaces and at the same time reinforces our existence. All too often, we hesitate because we feel our idea is not good enough. We wait for inspiration before we start, for an idea that we think is worth developing. But that holds us back. We shouldn’t be the ones to judge our writing. We can leave that to others. We should just write. It’s that simple. Not all of what we write will be good. But some of that writing will demand to be shared with others. Like this post.
Do you always know what you are going to write before you sit at your desk?