How to Start Writing a Book

I’ve sadly neglected my writing for awhile.  Recently, I decided to get back to it and found that I had run into a problem:  I had no idea what to write about or how to get started.  In desperation I decided to turn to the library.

I found Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott.  So far it’s been very helpful.  Anne talks about her life as a writer, how she became one, and how she teaches students how to write.  She does all this with a touch of humility and a lot of humor.

Some of the helpful tips so far:

1.)    Give yourself short assignments.  Instead of looking at the whole book, or even a chapter, just write the next paragraph.  Get through that.  Do this enough times, and you’ll finish it!

2.)    Write crappy first drafts.  It doesn’t have to be perfect the first time – you may end up throwing away five pages and starting with the sixth page, but if you don’t write those first five bad pages, you’ll never get to the good stuff on page six.

So I sat down and just started writing, just get the scene where they meet written.  Just get the scene where they talk written.  And as I wrote it, I laughed at how bad some of it was.  But hey, I can go back later and rewrite it, right?

I recommend the book.  And remember, keep writing!

Scott

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