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Monday, June 11, 2012

Getting Started

For the longest time, I wanted to write a book. I had story ideas swimming around my head. I dreamed of how I would explain scenes, writing them mentally. But for a long time, these thoughts remained unrealized.

Writing can be hard. Getting started is harder.

If you've found this blog, you've probably already started writing. You might even have a few finished pieces. You worry about editing your work and getting it right. Getting it published. And you think about the road ahead.

But for a moment, I'd like you to think about how you got here. How did you get started?

So many people talk about wanting to write a book. They have an idea. They read a lot and think they could write something. However, something keeps them from taking that first step. Starting. Sitting down and writing something, anything. Getting through those mental barriers that keep us from going for that one thing that we really, really want.

We may not realize how hard it was to take that first step. It was.

For me, I sat down and wrote a couple times, but it didn't go anywhere until I found a way to make writing a habit. Still, the first time I sat down and worked on something that was just a story I wanted to write, it felt so odd. Foreign. Strange. I didn't know what I was doing, and I didn't like that feeling one bit. It's a wonder that I kept at it.

Today I want us all to be encouraging to anyone who wants to write but hasn't taken that first step. How did you get started? How did it feel?

16 comments:

mshatch said...

I started writing in elementary school, you know, those assignments teachers give you. Found I liked it. Told more stories - at night to my sister (we shared a room) - on paper for fun, and just kept at it. Cripes, you'd think I'd be published by now!

Huntress said...

I wrote ditties in school, was encouraged by my teachers to continue, but I never thought of it as a career. Time passed until three years ago when I wrote a bit of fanfic. Then began typing out a story rolling around in my head for a couple of decades.

A niece who edited for Scholastic Books raved about the MS and pushed me into finding an agent, becoming a published author.

Your post brings it all back.

Alicia C. said...

Started in grade school, never looked back :) Though I've only really been 'serious' about it for maybe a year now. (sad huh?)

Aldrea Alien said...

When I was eleven. I probably wrote before then, but I cannot recall anything. What I do remember was developing a world and start writing my first story. It went through so many rewrites and, after going from 1st person & 3rd person, the whole story now has a different feel and the characters changed some.
But that's how it started. When I was eleven.

Liza said...

Seems I'd always had the idea that I wanted to write a book lurking in my brain. "Someday" always floated after that thought. Then I found The Artist's Way, by Julia Cameron, and as I worked through her twelve lessons, I challenged myself to give it a go. Now I'm on number two...

JEFritz said...

When I was little I wrote a lot of stories, sometimes for class, sometimes for fun. Part of me wanted to be a "real" writer but while I started, I didn't go beyond the first chapter until college. It felt...amazing, fun, many other things, all of them good.

Charity Bradford said...

Liz, what a great start to the week! What was it that helped each of us take that first step? I'm not sure I even remember anymore myself. The desire was always there, but life took precedence until one day I needed that pen and paper in my hand. I mean REALLY needed it to keep my sanity.

So many people never take that first step, and I agree that we should pat ourselves on the back for stepping through that door into our imaginary ones. Now we can stick our "Welcome" mats out and encourage others to joing us.

LD Masterson said...

I started my first book in high school. Got about half way done when I made the mistake of letting a couple friends read it. They wanted me to write them into the story, so I did. Then a couple other friends got in on the act and pretty soon I was writing a serial of fictional exploits of my friends. Never did get that book finished but that's how I got started.

Liz said...

I hated those assignments. I dreaded the words "creative writing". At least when I was in 2nd grade.

Liz said...

Great story.

Liz said...

Not sad. Inspiring.

Liz said...

I couldn't write when I was eleven. I'm awed.

Liz said...

I've heard that book mentioned before. I'm going to have to check it out.

Liz said...

I couldn't write when I was little. Good for you.

Liz said...

Thanks. I thought I was going a little basic, but this is what's been going through my head lately.

Liz said...

How interesting. It took courage to show your work. I don't think that was the mistake, though. The mistake was letting your friends hijack your vision. But then again, you learned an important lesson from that, and at a young age. It's all good, right?