“For most, the hardest part about writing is to have the courage to simply begin.” –Judy Dippel

Yes . . . SIMPLY BEGIN

Writing intrigues, tests, and rewards those who pursue it. I’ve found it to be a fascinating evolution of personal self-discovery and skill . . . but the fact remains, as writers, our biggest challenge is a constant challenge. That is, to simply begin. You can take a sigh of relief knowing this is something all writers must come to terms with.

It’s true for all kinds of writing! Getting started is hard for those of you with business writing to complete, even though a boss, deadlines, and a paycheck tend to motivate getting it done! And if you’re a nonfiction writer, you know it can be tough to get those first words written on the page, especially since you’re eager to touch the world with passion and truth. Fiction writers, maybe even you, struggle with starting, too. Stories rumble around in writer’s heads for years, waiting for characters, conflict and completion. Beginning to write, whatever the genre, is a shared challenge.

(Side Note: We each have preferred methods that help us to get the creative juices flowing. What works for one may not be for another. Whether you write in a PC, pen and paper, or record, discover what works best.)

If writing is something you want to do, what is it that obstructs, or gets in the way of simply doing it? Truth is, there are a multitude of reasons, but let’s look at what I’ve termed:

The CAUSES for PESKY PAUSES: aka writer’s block

PERFECTIONISM: Accept that there is no writer that is perfect. To help you, here is what I suggest: 1) Enjoy the journey by striving to improve and learn. That’s never-ending. 2) Learn to appreciate critique and revision. It paves the way to writing improvement. 3) Know that no matter your level of writing perfect writing is a matter of opinion, trends, and an editors needs.

PLACE: Know yourself, and find the right place. Where, when and how do you write your best? Write inside or out? Enjoy a crowd of people and activity? Does writing flow more easily in the morning, middle of the night, in the evening? Find the best time and place, and stick to it.

PERSONAL INSECURITY: It takes time and experience to overcome insecurity. Go easy on yourself. The bottom line, you must learn to believe in your writing beyond all others, because it is a vulnerable, adventurous undertaking. Seek out writers conferences and talk to writers. You’ll find insecurity is part of the gig, and inevitable when you make your heartfelt work public. The good news; you grow stronger and it gets easier. A great payoff!

PROCRASTINATION: Procrastination may seem subtle, but it constantly hovers around to give you and me excuses. Is it happening because of fear or a busy life? Life goes on, thank goodness, and I’m sure you can list all that needs to be done now, so make a list. Okay. Now, write down why you want to write. Is the list longer? I bet it is, so schedule it in, and commit to write, as if it is the most important appointment on the calendar. You owe it to yourself!

PERSEVERANCE: I had a very successful author tell me once, “The most important attribute a writer can have is perseverance.” I agree. It can be hard to climb the mountain, maneuver the sharp turns, swim the river, but how do you feel when you accomplish a goal … even when looks different than when you began? You know the answer, so persevere. You will never regret it!

PROPPING UP: The support you anticipate, from people you know, rarely comes as you might expect. Sometimes it’s hurtful; sometimes it’s shocking. Don’t despair, encouragement does come, but not always from whom you think it will. When it does, totally delight in it!

PATIENCE: Impatience can literally freeze creativity, but patience enables it to flow. Defined as the ability to endure waiting and delay, without becoming annoyed or upset; an attribute to persevere calmly when faced with difficulties. Right? …probably not; however, it becomes easier to be patient as you overcome the other causes for pesky pauses listed above.

Write on!

Judy Dippel

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