How to Start Writing: Easy Strategies that Work

If you struggle with how to start writing, take heart. There are so many easy ways to begin a writing project. Try the ideas below, or use them to create your own unigue get-started strategies.

Make it low-stress. Use a prewriting technique like listing, mapping or freewriting to get your ideas down in a no-pressure format. Remember, you aren’t creating a finished product here. This is like putting primer on the walls before you paint; nobody will ever see this part, but it will improve the final product. If it makes you feel better, do your prewriting in a sketchbook, on construction paper or a napkin.

Make it fun. If you’re artistic, do your prewriting in colored pens, changing colors for different kinds of ideas. If you like to curl up with a blanket, get a cup of tea and your notebook and settle down in your favorite spot. If you’re more the social type, take your notebook to a café, grab a cappuccino and do your prewriting there. If possible, take a friend and use the buddy system.

Make it easy. If writing is hard for you, even prewriting, try a more creative approach. Use a technique like mapping that lets you arrange your ideas visually. Avoid techniques that move left to right, top to bottom the way writing usually does. Instead, try drawing little sketches of your ideas. Or write the ideas, but decorate them with doodles. You can also do your prewriting verbally by speaking your ideas into a tape recorder.

Make it quick. If getting started is hard for you, do only the prewriting step of the writing process, then stop. Give yourself plenty of time, but when you’re done the prewriting, don’t go any further. Instead, reward yourself immediately with a little treat. This sends the message to your subconscious mind that you’ve done a good thing, and it will make getting started easier next time.

The key to all these techniques is you’ve got to make getting started appealing. The more you can make prewriting easy, fun and quick, the more you’ll train yourself to enjoy starting a writing project. And the more you enjoy starting, the easier it will be to do.

So instead of wracking your brain for how to start writing, instead put your energy into getting started.

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