Having a place to write and sometimes more than one, is a good way to begin; you can’t write if you have no where to do it. Also, if you don’t make time to write, it’ll never get done. But how do you begin writing in the first place? You may have a designated space, and have made time for this craft, but where do you begin?
A story, a poem, an article – they all begin with an idea.
Ideas are the lifeline of any writer, in any genre or format. Where do you get them? Everywhere! They come to you at moments when you least expect, and if you’re not prepared, you can lose these gold nuggets before you ever get a chance to dazzle the masses.
If you know me, you’ve probably heard of my ‘Idea Journal’, which is nothing more than a notebook I write random ideas down in. I don’t always have the time to sit down and write when I want to, so I write down every idea I get. Sometimes they’re vague and are nothing more than a line I thought sounded good, or a character’s name, but I always write them down.
I’d also suggest having a pen and paper with you whenever you can. I keep these in my car, so that no matter where I am, I can write them down. Also, if you’re out in public and have nothing to write with, don’t be afraid to ask someone to borrow a pen so you can jot your idea on a napkin or stray piece of paper. After all, you never know when that little idea will turn into something more!
Once you have your idea – no matter how big or small it may be – it’ll be time to do something with it.
Time for thoughts to paper, and this is where The Puzzle comes in.
Remember, first drafts will never be perfect – they’re simply a tool to get your thoughts out on paper. After you have this first draft – which may be nothing more than a series of ideas jotted down in the order you wish – you go back through, read what you have and make adjustments. You might take a piece (a sentence or paragraph) from the beginning and move it to the middle or the end. You might take out pieces you don’t think work, and set them aside for later, adding in new ones. You might decide certain words aren’t going to fit into certain areas and exchange them for new ones that fit better.
Finally – after many drafts – The Puzzle comes together and you have a finished piece! The juggling and polishing are the editing process all writers use on their work. The time consuming, sometimes complicated, arranging and changing leads to your ideas, your thoughts, forming on paper and now you have a story, a poem, an article, to share with the world. Granted, it’s a struggle, but if you don’t try no one will ever know what a wonderful idea you’ve had and what a beautiful piece it can make when it’s all fit together properly.
So, get started by writing down those ideas. Write them down – even if it’s a mess – and get to work putting your puzzle together!