Twelve years ago. It seems like so long ago, yet it feels as if I’ve been writing so much longer than that. Perhaps because I have. I just didn’t keep record of it. I jotted and journaled. But twelve years ago, I started to post writing to a blog—not that I published it right away, but it didn’t take too long. And now I’ve been writing online and publishing in a variety of print publications and books for twelve years.
I tiptoed into the discipline, but one step at a time brought me to today.
If there’s one question I get most often from people who have a book or story stirring within them, it’s, “How do I start?” My answer is nearly always something like, “Small.” Just start with something. A word. A phrase. Instead of being overwhelmed by the bigness of an end product or goal, start with some practice. It doesn’t have to be complete sentences. It doesn’t have to be the topic you’ll ultimately write about. It might never become a book or be read by anyone other than you or perhaps family. But start.
Most people want to write because they have something to share. Then they get caught up in a couple snags: either they question if anyone will want to read it or they get paralyzed in what feels like a daunting end product. But if the goal is to record life for self or others, it doesn’t matter if anyone is interested in reading it. What’s important is to record it somehow. It doesn’t matter the end result. It doesn’t have to be a published book or even a story that has a clear beginning, middle, and end. All that might not make sense through the process. We often don’t see some of the purpose of the process until close to the end, and sometimes we don’t see it clearly at all. That doesn’t mean there’s not purpose in the process.
Maybe writing isn’t your thing. There’s something else you repeatedly feel as a nudge. It motivates you but just not quite enough to get moving. But perhaps today is the day to start small.