When I attend prompt circles and other writerly groups, one question that keeps cropping up is, “How do I get started?”  It’s usually asked by someone that, to my eye, is quite ready to get onto the page, they just don’t know where the page is.  My answer is always the same:  open your journal and start writing.  Set a timer for ten minutes.  Write whatever’s in your mind.  If you totally can’t think of anything to write, then tell me how you got here, to this moment, today – start from the minute you woke up this morning.

That’s it.  Start with where you are.  Right here.


What about you, Dear Reader?
What’s the best advice you have for getting started (in anything, not just writing)?

15 thoughts on “I Is For… Initiation

  1. Exactly! Accompanied by some soothing classical music. Thoughts come from nowhere.

  2. I totally like to just jump in to things, whether writing or simple chores. I cannot stand talking and planning, or generally procrastinating. Just do it! ~grin~ Though that does not apply to most travel.

  3. Visiting you during the #Challenge and happy to find another writer. I always return to the fact that in order to write well, you must read well. I know you will agree.

  4. I'm in the jump in the middle of things camp as well.

    Good luck with the 2015 A to Z Challenge!
    A to Z Co-Host S. L. Hennessy

  5. Hi, Keith! Thanks for taking the time to stop by. I like classical music too, especially Beethoven. 🙂

  6. Hi, Darla! Good point on the chores and just jumping in. I'm looking at a mountain of them before Friday, when Rachel arrives. I want everything to be perfect for her, but don't have a domovoi to help me. o.O…

  7. Hi, Stepheny! I think that most of the writers I know started as voracious readers. 🙂 It's like we want to continue the story, and that drives us onto the page.

    Thanks for visiting, and happy blogging!

  8. Hi, S. L.! Welcome to the Jump-In-the-Middle camp! Love it. 🙂

    Thanks for visiting, and happy blogging!

  9. doreeweller says:

    That technique of just writing what you did that day is a good idea! I'll have to try that next time I'm stuck for an idea of what to journal. Just stopping by from blogging A to Z.

  10. Hi, Doree! I hope the technique helps you.

    Thank you for visiting for the Challenge!

  11. J here, stopping by from the #atozchallenge 2015!
    Great post. I'm following you on GFC.

    I agree with you- just start writing. Write about any thoughts in your head. Write about not having something to write about. Write a letter to your future self. In the movie "Finding Forrester" he just starts retyping something that was already written, and keeps at it until his own words form. (It doesn't exactly work out, but with just a little bit of legal copyright thoughts, a normal person would be okay.)

  12. Grace Kahlo says:

    I like taking a deep breath, looking up at the sky, and stop thinking, start listening…like Cameron said 🙂 Awesome post! It took me a long time to believe in the "just write" but it works 🙂

  13. Hi, Lenni! I like the Finding Forrester tip; I've done that myself. There are a lot of those kinds of tips in Novakovich's book, too; things like re-tell a fairy tale or a bible tale. There are lots of ways to get to story; but the key is, to start.

    Thanks for visiting, and happy blogging!

  14. Hi, Grace! Yup, "just write" is the key, but it's not an easy one to trust. So pleased that it's working for you!

    Thanks for stopping by!

  15. Maps, outlines, timeline charts, photos and research…sigh. My favs.

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