Start Writing: One word, one sentence, one book!Whether you research before, in the middle, or after you write your book, whether you’re a plotter or a pantster, whether you work full-time or part-time, have two kids or five, no matter what your situation, you can’t write a book unless you grab a pen and paper and/or sit down in front of your computer and write.
This may sound silly, but for me, that’s the hardest part of writing a book: sitting down and writing. On some days I can think of a million things I’d rather do than sit at my computer. Suddenly, washing clothes and scrubbing dishes doesn’t sound so bad. But what I’ve learned over the years is that if I want to achieve my goals and dreams, I need to sit in that chair and write whenever possible. I’ve also learned that I have the most difficult time getting to the computer when I’m stuck…in other words, when the words aren’t flowing or the scene I’m writing isn’t working for me.
Sometimes I need to coax myself to the computer by giving myself permission to write just one word and then one sentence. Usually one sentence is enough to get me to finish a paragraph. After that, if I can turn off the internal editor and let the words flow, I can usually finish my five-page goal for the day within a few hours. Thinking about writing in manageable chunks can take the pressure off. Try it sometime. If you only have a thirty minute lunch break or twenty minutes before a child’s soccer game, give yourself permission to write one sentence. Who cares if it’s a bad sentence, because maybe that sentence will turn into a paragraph, or better yet, an entire page! It’s amazing what can be accomplished in fifteen minutes if you give yourself permission to write without that internal editor screaming in your ear. Next time you find yourself avoiding “the chair” tell yourself that you only have to write one sentence and see what happens.
Some writers don’t need any help at all getting to the computer. If that’s you then I’m jealous! And don’t get me wrong…I LOVE to write. It’s my passion, writing makes me feel whole, and yet sometimes I still struggle with getting started. Some writers set a timer to get going, some writers bribe themselves with chocolate or shopping sprees, some writers go straight from bed to the computer and don’t move until their pages are done for the day.
What do you do to get yourself to the computer? Do you have a daily ritual, or do you write at different times and different places each day? Are some days more difficult than others, or is it just me?