What I’ve found is… sometimes you have to start at the end. Or in the middle. Or by writing the credits for the book you haven’t even written yet.
Maybe it’s different for others, but I’ve realised that I must simply write. The ordering, the structure and placement of things… that can come later. Trying to write a book from beginning to end is… futile.
To get it all out of one’s head is the first priority. And some words simply want to be said first. So let them have their way with you, in the give and take of the flow of creativity.
And don’t panic when you think you haven’t yet written anything useful!
Write a paragraph here and there. Spend as much time not writing as you do engaged in the production of sentences. Be okay with the percolation phase, and with the fear of beginning.
For where does one begin, anyway?
I’ve learned that what you do is, begin with what you feel. And let your feelings guide everything that pops up after. In the same way they shoot movies and television shows out of sequence, write what needs to be written right now.
Structure appears when it’s ready to take form. Don’t let the beginning of your work depend on something that’s yet to evolve!
And – sometimes, the perfect place for writing is not the perfect place. Correct posture be damned! Writing on a sofa or a bed is sometimes what is needed, instead of at a lovely antique table.
Above all, just keep writing… burning incense, taking walks, and making another pot of tea…
Other posts inspired by my retreat
- Writing retreat report: I’m back!
- An ode to Snake Gully
- Life lessons from managing a fireplace
- Waterfalls sound like the Universe