Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Getting Started

Good morning!

So. How are things going now? What have you accomplished thus far on your journey to publication?

Not much? A few words? Nothing at all?

You know what? That's okay. The most important thing here is to not chastise yourself or give up on your idea entirely. "Life" can very often get in the way of our goals and dreams, and it happens to the best of us. The biggest challenge I know of is the time when "life" isn't actually standing in your way. Yes, those times do exist. It's when you hit the snooze button on the alarm for the sixth time. Or you refresh Facebook and skim through the timeline again, even though you just read everything a minute ago. Maybe you're sitting through a marathon of TV show reruns that you've already seen.

This is the biggest challenge: Defeating the "Oh, I'll do it later" voice in the back of your head. This means getting out of bed. Closing your internet browser. Turning off the TV. Because we know writing is hard, don't we? Trying to put those words down on-screen or on paper when your brain decides it has better things to do is akin to water torture.

So here's your morning challenge. Open up Word (or whichever word processing program you use) or grab your notebook and pen. Go ahead, I'll wait.

Ready? Now think about that idea you had. The one that got you all fired up and excited.

Write one sentence.

Just one. That's all. It doesn't have to be the first sentence of the story, it could be a phrase or piece of dialogue that's been floating around in your head.

And just like that, you've started! Your next option is to write two or three more sentences, or perhaps use a timer. Give yourself ten minutes to focus only on your story.

Your new challenge? Do this again tomorrow and add a few more sentences or do as much as you can for another ten minutes. I know, the idea puts a little bit of dread in your belly, doesn't it? It should. This isn't easy. If you really want to get that story into print, you have to work for it. That's all there is to it.

Good luck!