I have been writing every day, but it hasn’t felt all that productive, as I thrash about, trying to get my current story off the ground. Aside from that, I’ve fallen into a pattern that I’m trying break out of. I keep putting off writing until late in the evening. (And yes, it’s 9 pm and I haven’t worked on the story yet.) That means I’m up so late I’m too sleepy to remember to make it easier to start again.
So here’s a few tricks that help me get started, when I remember to do them.
- Trust yourself to remember what you’re going to say. Lately I’ve been trying the Hemingway trick of “leaving water in the well.” Leaving half a sentence is scary for me: I’m always afraid that I’ll forget what I was going to write next. Turns out, so far, I remember just fine.
- When you finish, make it easy to start. Come up with something easy to work on. Polishing is easier than revising, revising is easier than drafting, drafting is easier than staring at a blank screen. There’s probably a lot of things to work on, some easy, some hard. Make a note to work on the easy one first.
- Make the starting place easy to find. As I work my way through a story, I shuffle what I’ve just written to the end of the section, leaving the next bit to work on at the top of the file. That way, I’m not rewriting the beginning over and over.
And now I’ll start writing.