Finally Getting The Pencil On The Paper

I’m Having a Hard Time Starting My Stories

One of the hardest parts of writing for me is putting the pencil to the paper, pen to the paper, or fingers to the keyboard: writing my first words. And then keeping those first words on the page. It would take me hours or days to get a couple of words on a page, but when I finally did, I’d go into editing mode, and delete those words to write it again, try to make it better, try to make it more beautiful, add more imagery, try to take it to a new level, and so on.

              It was especially the biggest problem when I was trying to write one of my very first pieces. It was frustrating enough trying to start,  but even more so that by the time I started the story I’d lose all the excitement and ideas I had for the story by taking so long. I was un-healthily taking too long to get my first words down draining myself of all my inspiration and ideas.

Free Writing To The Rescue

           Free writing was the game-changer for me. It helped me accomplish putting my pencil to paper When I have no ideas about what to write.

Free writing is a writing exercise & practice where writers write the first things that come to their mind. The goal is to just write no matter what comes out. Freewriting can be writing without any sort of structure or form.

              I began to free-write more during writing time.  Having this issue helped me to realize one of the benefits and purposes of free writing:  To write, and learn how to get my ideas out of my head and onto a page. As a beginner writer, I found myself stuck in the idea and inspiration stage more than the writing stage. So practicing free writing helps me to learn how to put my ideas on a page and focus on editing secondary. 

              That’s another thing, I realized and had to come to grips with the fact that when I’m working on a story for the first time the rough draft can turn out really really rough. And that’s okay.

              So free writing during writing time, and then applying that free writing principle of “just write” when I start to write a story helps me to get my ideas out of my head finally get the pencil and onto the paper, and actually start writing.

Organizing My Writing Ideas To Start Writing

              While freewriting helps me tremendously: helping me practice getting my words on paper, analyzing how I start writing is another step I saw necessary. So, I took some time to focus on improving the time or the process in which I start writing. And I found that your first words of a story don’t literally have to be the first words of the story. Here’s what I mean:

              Getting an idea for a story, I open up a new page and try to start the story. But after my realization, I instead, would open up a page and write down my ideas, key points, inspirations, and all the things  I’m thinking of.  I write them sort of in a note-taking form.  Sometimes I’ll extend them. 

            Then I’ll take a break, taking a step back to clear my brain.  and try a fresh new thinking slate before I start writing the story itself. I may even jot down story ideas and come back to them two or three days later.

              Ready to start I’d open up a new page and just start writing without thinking. Given the fact that I’ve already written all my ideas down, inspirations, and goals for the story, I have an idea about what I want to do. The trick for me is that as much as I can try to clear my brain they’re still going to be in the back of my brain. But that’s where I want them to be.  Overthinking,  and considering too many things at once, hurt my writing. 

              So with those thoughts in the back of my brain and written down on paper or in a Google doc, I am able to write more smoothly. With the consideration of them but not necessarily based on them. That leaves me room to write a story of the likes, add on to it, and change it without feeling like I’m doing a gut job on an established property: it gives me room to work, and space to write.

So far these methods are working well for me.

Do you have any writing tricks, practices, or methods that help you get the pencil on the paper?

Until my next words (on here that is)

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