Ways to Start Writing

If you're not an author, or already disciplined to write every day, getting started on writing can be difficult. After pondering the problem with Kris and Hugh, we offer these ideas to start the long road to being published.

  • Have someone write/call/email/otherwise bug you to write. Preferably on a regular basis.
  • Write 3 pages in the morning after waking up (a la the book The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron)
  • Subscribe to an email list that sends out a topic each day via email (or one that sends out 30 topics once a month at the beginning of the month)
  • Participate in the National Novel Writing Month where each writer writes 50000 words (preferably as a novel) in a month
  • Send an introduction paragraph to a friend, who has to respond with the next paragraph. Continue back and forth.
  • Try freewriting: just sit down and start writing. The first parts will be crap, but it'll get the ball rolling.
  • Focus on a particular topic, write about it. Topics could include objects as simple as the moon, pine trees, a dark path, a pen. Put them in places you wouldn't normally see them.
  • Go to a place where people are. As you watch people, pick a person and make up a story about her/his life. Write up the stories as short collection.
  • Using an alternate history, write about a familiar event. Don't explain the alternate history, but give subtle clues about the adjusted history. Examples:
    • Write about the World Trade Center attacks as if Germany had won World War 2
    • Write about the 2000 Presidential election scandal as if the British had not defeated the Spanish Armada
    • Write about the establishment of Israel as a nation after WW2 as if Alexandria had not burned

Not so bad. A good way to start writing.