Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Writers--Don't Put Off That New Project!

How often have you had a story idea swriling in your head but can't ever seem to get started writing it? How many of you keep a Story Idea list but let it gather dust on your desk? Which of you sees something that would make a great story when you're out and about, then promptly forget it before you get home?

Have you ever said, or thought, I want to write a series of articles for a writing magazine--or something similar? We have great ideas, big goals or giant plans for a novel. What happens if we fail to begin the project?

You know what happens--we think about it longer and longer and put off the hardest part. And what is the hardest part? The beginning, of course. Putting bottom in chair and fingers on keyboard is step 1. Step 2 is to write that first sentence. And then another, and another.

Sometimes that first sentence has come to you before you ever sit at your desk. I've had first lines of a poem pop into my head at the strangest times. Some of them absolutely startle me. Where did that come from? I often wonder. Our subconscious mind harbors many hidden gems.

If a first line comes to you, stop what you're doing and jot it down somewhere. Anywhere! On a napkin or in a notebook you carry with you, or at the bottom of your grocery list. If you don't write it as soon as you think of it, you might lose it. That wonderful first line can float away like a feather on a summer breeze.

When you begin your project with that first line, you will keep going. Getting that first sentence in print is motivating in itself. Your mind will pluck another line and another to follow. Will they all be brilliant? Of course not. This is a first draft with changes to come. That special first line you thought of may eventually end up as your conclusion or deep into the middle of your project. Even so, it's what you use to begin the entire story, or whatever you're writing.

As the poster says, we must simply begin. Nothing is accomplished if we don't. Those good ideas will just keep swirling in your mind, going nowhere.

If you've had an idea for a new writing project, why not begin it today? Once begun, you're nearly done. Well, not really but you are on your way. Set a goal to begin something new this week. Sit down and write that first line.


  1. I didn't come across this article in my inbox until tonight, but this afternoon, some ideas for a new character hit me. I was unable to stop and write it all down, so I used the notes function on my phone and recorded it verbally. Tomorrow I'm going to sit down and work with the ideas and flesh them out more. Good article. Thanks for the nudge!

  2. Using your phone to capture the idea you had is great. You can tell I'm not a total techie as I had not thought of that. But I will from now on. Thanks for the tip!