Advice On How to Start Writing
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“How do I start writing?”
This is a question I see a lot on social media. People are becoming more interested in telling their own stories. They want to know where to start. Most of the time, the answer they receive is ‘just write’. This is not a helpful answer, and in fact it really pisses me off. Seriously, if you think that is helping, please just don’t. If you are like me, you need a little more guidance to grasp what it is you need to do. Hopefully, this piece will help you take that first step into the world of writing.
It is a good idea to have a spot set up for writing. Be that a comfortable spot on your sofa, a desk in a quiet room or the table at your favorite coffee shop. Having an area for you to enter your writer mindset is important. I sit on a very old, well worn couch with the tv in the background and music blaring in my headphones.
Once you have a spot, make it a goal to write something there everyday. Whether it is a sentence, or an entire story, getting into the habit of getting your words out is a great way to cement your writing voice. Many times, I have had to force myself to sit in my spot until I have written at least a sentence on one project or another. This can last all night and cause a lot of grumbling on my part. If you get stuck and cannot think of what to write, Our Write Side has some great prompts to get the creative juices flowing.
There is no wrong answer for what you want your environment to be when you write. Environment is not always about the where, it is about the how. For example: I like to listen to music as I write as well as having other forms of background noise. This is not for everyone. I know a lot of great authors who cannot have music with lyrics in them, or any distracting noises at all. Choosing your environment helps you focus on your writing while blocking out distractions. Or, in my case, creating the right amount of chaos that makes you able to focus on the task at hand.
When it comes to the medium you use to write, there is no wrong answer. Pen and paper, digital, or speech-to-text are all good ways to get your words out of your head. Some advice for whatever you decide to use is to make sure it is saved in more than one place. Nothing hurts more than realizing a project you have been working on has disappeared. Trust me, after you spend ten years on a novel just for your computer to crash with the only copy, you will learn to save it everywhere. If you like to write with pen/pencil and paper, make sure you take a photo of the page as it is written. This way, if the notebook or journal gets lost, the work you have already done will not. Saving in multiple spots is the key to using a digital form of writing. I, personally, like to save it online, on my external hard drive, and have even gone so far as to email it to myself.
My last piece of advice for those wanting to become avid writers is to write what makes you happy. You like being dark and scary? Write your horror stories to your heart’s content. Do not pay attention to what other people think you should be doing or how they think a certain project should go. Writing is a deeply personal pursuit. Yes, some of us write so that one day others will read it. That’s not what I mean by personal. To write something that you are passionate about is to pour a bit of your soul into the words. Ernest Hemingway- “Writing is easy. All I do is sit at the typewriter and bleed.” Personal experiences and the fact that no two people are exactly the same, make each person’s work unique. Two people can use the same prompt and come up with two completely different stories. The only limits are the ones we place on ourselves. Give in to creativity and let the words flow.
[bctt tweet=”#Write what makes you happy. #writerslife #amwriting” username=”ourwriteside”]
Need more tips on how to start writing? Nancy Miller has a great advice in “You Should be Writing!”
Now it’s your turn. Tell us how YOU start writing in the comments below.
Passionate about literature from a very young age, Amanda Huggins has enjoyed reading stories that span genres and time. Upon reading The Hobbit when she was in middle school, she knew she wanted to be an author, to tell stories others would want to hear.
Working for years to hone her craft, Amanda has since published a short story, Trek of the Sane: Rayne’s Journal, and tirelessly works toward her next major project. An author of Fantasy, Sci Fi, Dystopia and Paranormal Fiction, she looks forward to reaching readers everywhere.
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