Are You Having Trouble Starting to Write?

One of the most intimidating things for a writer is a blank page. The blinking cursor staring back at you. What to write… where to start… what should I say… I’m not a novelist, but I have done a great deal of writing for pleasure, school, and for work. I know — from experience — one of the hardest things to do is begin writing.

As just about all of my writing is done on a computer, I can’t really put into practice one of the tips I’m about to offer, but I have had it offered to me by those who are sometimes faced with this same conundrum. The advice: scribble on the page. Scribble in the corners, scribble near where the “title” would go. Mark up the page. Make it appear as if it’s not a “pristine” fresh sheet of paper. Sometimes, there’s an anxiety to making the first mark on the page. If there’s already a mark on the page, it might make it easier to begin writing.

Two other tips: 1) stream of consciousness. Essentially, one could play a game with one’s self. That is, one could set a timer for 300 seconds and just continue to type — no matter what. After the 5 minutes is up, one will definitely no longer have a blank page and will have something to work with on said page. 2) make an outline (iterative). Assuming one hasn’t already made an outline, if there’s trepidation around starting a project, it might be a good idea to make an outline. After the outline is made, there may still be some fear around beginning. At this point, I would suggest revisiting the outline and then growing it. That is, if there are 5 major points on the outline, then take the 1st point and make 5 minor points within it and do the same for the other 4 major points.

Published by Jeremiah Stanghini

Jeremiah's primary aim is to provide readers with a new perspective. In the same vein as the "Blind Men and the Elephant," it can be difficult to know when one is looking at the big picture or if one is simply looking at a 'tusk' or a 'leg.' He writes on a variety of topics: psychology, business, science, entertainment, politics, history, etc.

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