Starting to Write is the Hardest Part

Every one of these Mondays I go through the same trouble: starting to write.

This is my writing week. Just me, tucked away in our little cabin in the woods with pen & paper, my laptop, a few good books, and provisions. These are the weeks that I fall deeper in love with writing. I also fall deeper in love with my Husband who suggested I rearrange my work schedule like this in the first place. I miss him, and I love this!

Every one of these Mondays I go through the same trouble: starting to write. For the last week I’ve had story lines (or just lines) running through my head. I captured some ideas immediately in notes. Many ideas were lost just moments after I promised I’d write them down … later.  Others continue to bump into the corners of my brain, looking for a way out. And then Monday comes and I don’t know where to start…so I don’t.

It’s kind of funny but on the weeks I’m in the city to work I have no trouble sitting down in the morning and starting to write. I know I have limited time to write on those days so I have to get to it. Maybe I’m putting off going to the office, starting the work day. Ha! Wouldn’t that figure!

Maybe I’ll just pull out my journal and write nothings until I know what to write.

This morning, instead of starting to write, I put out the bird feeders, took the garbage out hours before it was due to be picked up, made coffee, and took a shower. I did just about anything to avoid the laptop calling me from the corner of the room. I even lit a candle and put on some soft music. I hoped that would put me in the mood to get started. Words that played with me last week are taunting me today. Finally, knowing I must write, I think “maybe I’ll just pull out my journal and write nothings until I know what to write.”

My journal now has two “false start entries” so far. Ideas that started out as something have become tired and unable to finish. The first attempt became dark and frustrated quickly – I don’t need to go there today. The second attempt pulled over to let this one pass ….

Starting to write is the hardest part; like most things in life, creative or otherwise. 

I’ll write instead of clean the house.

I’ll work instead of write.

I’ll read instead of work …

But then something magical happens: I start. I begin writing nothings and now I can’t stop writing somethings! The words that had been trapped in my brain discover the door and rush it. My pen can barely keep up. My coffee goes cold – because I can’t write and hold the cup at the same time. I don’t need or want to eat now. And I must write.

At this point I really don’t even care if anyone sees what I write.

The trouble with starting to write has nothing to do with insecurity, shyness, or fear of being judged. I know this because I have no idea if anyone will ever see anything I write ever again. At this point I really don’t even care if anyone sees it. I simply must write. I don’t know what will come out when I write, nor where it will fit, and none of that matters right now. This is what the creative process is. And it’s no different than cleaning the house; once I begin it feels so good that I won’t quit until either I’m exhausted or finished.

And it all starts with starting to write: the hardest part.             

It doesn’t matter if you have a day, a week or a month to do something, beginning is where the magic starts.

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