Getting Started

There are times when I have to write and can’t think of anything to write, like right now. In I Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith (excellent book by the way) the heroine locks her author father in the castle turret everyday with a typewriter and a pile of paper until he overcomes his writer’s block. At first he just writes rubbish (the cat sat on the mat, I think) but then eventually it works, and he writes.

I don’t normally approve of forcing writing to happen, because I think it’s best when inspiration strikes. But I’m lucky. Inspiration strikes. It pours, it bangs away at the inside of my head whilst I’m trying to shop or work or clean. (I know, I mixed my metaphors). If the voice of inspiration goes quiet for a couple of days, I look upon it as a well earned break.

But what if it stays quiet? I know there are dozens of authors out there who just can’t write the next line because they think they have nothing to write. Well, we don’t all have a tower to be locked in, but the principle is the same. I sit down and write anything. Anything. Nursery rhymes. Half-forgotten poems. School exercises. Dirty songs. The alphabet. Utter gibberish. Over and over and over again. Just let my mind wander. And then, eventually, sometimes after a long while, sometimes after moments, gibberish becomes words, then sentences, then a whole story.

I had nothing to write about when I sat down ten minutes ago, and now here I am, a whole blog post done. It may not be the greatest blog post in the world, but at least it exists, and that’s a step up on having nothing.

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