This might sound overly simplistic, but the first step in writing a book is getting started.
Getting started on a book can be a huge hurdle for writers and is possibly the most common reason why a writer never becomes a published author. How sad is that!
So why is it so difficult for some authors to get started? And how can an author overcome the blocks that are keeping them from realising their dream?
Getting started can be challenging for writers due to a variety of reasons. Those reasons will be different for everyone but if you are struggling with it, it’s important to understand why it’s such a challenge for you so that you can overcome it and realise your dream.
Writers may feel anxious about their initial ideas or writing not meeting their own expectations or the expectations of others. The fear of starting and potentially failing to create something good can be paralyzing.
Writers often strive for perfection in their work, which can lead to excessive self-criticism and self-doubt. They may be hesitant to begin writing until they have the perfect concept or structure in mind.
The writing process can feel overwhelming, especially when faced with a blank page. Writers may find it difficult to organize their thoughts or decide on a starting point, leading to a sense of being stuck.
Some writers may lack confidence in their writing abilities, which can make it intimidating to begin a writing project. They may doubt their skills or worry about being judged by others.
Whatever the reason is that is keeping you from getting started, you might find implementing one or all of the following strategies helpful:
- Set realistic goals: Break down the writing task into smaller, manageable steps. Instead of focusing on completing an entire project, set a goal to write for a specific amount of time or achieve a specific word count each day.
2. Embrace imperfection: Understand that the first draft is rarely perfect, and it’s natural to make revisions and improvements later. Give yourself permission to write without judgment or the need for immediate perfection.
3. Establish a routine: Set a consistent writing schedule and create a dedicated writing environment that minimizes distractions. By establishing a routine, you condition your mind to associate specific times or places with writing, making it easier to get started.
4. Start with freewriting or brainstorming: Begin by jotting down ideas, snippets of dialogue, or random thoughts related to your topic. This helps generate momentum and provides material that can be expanded upon later.
5. Use writing prompts: Writing prompts can serve as a springboard for ideas and help overcome writer’s block. They provide a starting point and can inspire creativity by challenging you to write about a specific topic or scenario.
6. Practice stream-of-consciousness writing: Write continuously for a set amount of time without worrying about grammar, structure, or coherence. This technique allows ideas to flow freely and reduces self-editing tendencies, helping you get into a writing flow.
7. Seek support and feedback: Join writing groups or communities where you can share your work, receive constructive feedback, and find encouragement. Connecting with other writers who face similar challenges can provide motivation and accountability.
8. Utilize writing exercises: Engage in warm-up exercises or creative writing exercises to stimulate your creativity and get your writing muscles warmed up. These exercises can be found in writing books, online resources, or writing workshop, and
9. My all-time favourite approach: “Don’t get it right. Get it written.” Just get something down on paper and those initial words can always be refined and improved later.
By implementing these strategies and developing a consistent writing habit, you might find you’ll overcome the challenge of getting started and you might actually finish your book. How good would that be!!
If you would like some company while you are writing your book, I invite you to join our Book Writing community where you can connect with like-minded authors who are on a similar journey.
We’d love to see you in there.