Creative Writing Tips - Fear of Starting

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A lot of people have an idea for a story or a poem they want to write. But they never seem to get around to actually starting it.

Often, the real reason why they're putting it off is fear.

The idea they have in mind seems so wonderful. They're afraid that when they try to capture it on the page, they might get it wrong. They're afraid they're going to wreck it.

If you've ever experienced this fear, know that it's not something you actually need to worry about. You're not going to wreck your idea. That's impossible. No matter what words you put on the page, your idea will still be there, just as wonderful as before.

And you can rewrite or start over as many times as you want until you're satisfied that what's on the page does your idea justice.

Here are some tips on how to get past fear and start writing:

- Remember that you can begin anywhere. You don't have to start by writing the first sentence of your story or the first line of your poem. You can start with the part that's clearest in your imagination, or the part that's easiest to write, then go back and fill in the beginning later.

- In your rough draft, try not to worry about finding the right words. Instead of focusing your attention on the words, focus on what you're writing about.

If you're writing a story, imagine the scene as vividly as you can. If you're writing a poem, concentrate on the poem's subject. For example, if it's a poem about a cat, picture that cat in your mind, think about what it looks like, how it moves, what it reminds you of...

When you focus your attention on the scene or the subject, the words tend to take care of themselves. And you can always go back and improve the words later.

- If you're really having trouble finding words, tell yourself that you're not writing a story or a poem -- you're only taking notes on your idea. Try to capture your idea in these notes as completely as possible.

Another option, if writing frightens you, is to speak your ideas out loud into a recording device. Then you can play back the recording and write down what you've said.

The key is just to get something on the page that you can work with.

Now you don't have to face a blank page anymore. Now you're no longer procrastinating -- you're actually writing!


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