As a new year approaches, many people build lists of things they’d like to accomplish in the coming twelve months. For a number of people, this involves embarking on a new writing project. Maybe you’d like to write your memoirs. Maybe you’ve always wanted to write a children’s book. Whatever the project, now is definitely the time to start!
The key is to settle in for the process.
Few things in life go smoothly or easily at first. Writing can be just as challenging. Give yourself time. Every step will probably take longer than you thought. That’s fine! Make yourself a writing nook that suits your needs. Some like noisy cafés. Others prefer a silent couch by a window. Test different situations until you find what works best for you.
Writing energy comes in waves. Sometimes words will pour out of you. At other times, you just won’t know what to write. Accept that pattern. When you’re able to write, give yourself the time and space to take advantage of that. When you aren’t, jot notes about ideas, dialogue, environments, and whatever might seem intriguing. You’ll be able to use them later on.
Immerse yourself in reading books and watching shows that you adore. The more creative input you soak in, the more it will inspire your own creativity to start flowing.
Find like-minded cheerleaders. Family and friends might be well-meaning, but they’re not always the best ones to help you in a writing project. Look online to find people who adore your genre and who will celebrate every milestone.
If some people don’t enjoy your writing style, that’s fine! Stephen King’s Carrie was turned down by 30 different publishers. Just keep on following your heart. Your audience is out there. Similarly, leave off editing until you have the full first draft done. That way you know the complete story before you begin smoothing out rough edges.
Ask with any questions, and good luck!
This article was first published in the December 2022 issue of the Boston Mensa Beacon.