by Peggy Bechko
I’m a writer, a creator, but who doesn’t like to get the viewpoint of others? To listen in, via quotations as to how the minds of others work. In this case, writers.
Also in this case how to begin. It’s amazing when confronting the blank page. All writers know the feeling. Those who write fiction, non-fiction, articles and even business reports. What to write first? What words to put on that blank screen or paper?
It’s special and at the same time nearly terrifying. Oh, the heck with ‘nearly’ it is terrifying. And, since putting words to screen (ie paper) is pretty much the same for every writer, I located some basic tips from writers I particularly like.
So join me and let’s take that first step, often the most difficult, together.
Stephen King is one of my favorite authors. His position is “The scariest moment is always just before you start.” Hmmm, not to be difficult, but I’m not sure I agree with that one. For me the scariest is just after I hit those first key strokes and see what’s coming up on that white screen before me.
Louis L’Amour takes another tack. “Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” Yes! That’s always been one of my mottos. Do it already – you can always change it.
Famed Sci Fi writer Ray Bradbury has this comment, “Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off. Build your wings on the way down.” That’s another one that should get you, the writer, moving – no matter what you write. Either that or send you running, screaming in another direction.
“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” Jack London says. He’s my kinda guy. Don’t sit there. Don’t wait. Go after it. Writing inspiration isn’t something that falls upon you like rose petals. It’s something you do. So do it.
Toni Morrison advises, “I always know the ending; that’s where I start.” To which I say, well, it may work for you Toni, but not for me. I rarely know the ending when I start. It usually pops out at me somewhere in the first third of writing the book. That’s not to say I don’t plan and ideas don’t swarm, but I’m not certain about the ending when I begin.
Author Les Brown makes the statement, “You don’t have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great.” That truly hits it on the nose. For every type of writer. The simple fact is you have to start…no matter how scary that starting is. Doesn’t matter if it’s a business paper, a short story, non-fiction book or screenplay. It’s not going to get done if that blank page overwhelms and you don’t start.
Sweet Beatrix Potter takes the more optimistic view, “There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they’ll take you.” And I guess that’s what I believe – especially since I never know the end when I start. I just don’t know where it will take me until I get into the act of writing.
And one last comment by Nora Roberts, “You don’t find time to write. You make time.” Take that one to heart. Write.
Peggy Bechko is a TVWriter™ Contributing Editor. This article first appeared on her great blog. Learn more about her HERE. Peggy’s new comic series, Planet of the Eggs, written and illustrated with Charlene Brash-Sorensen is available on Kindle. And, while you’re at it, visit the Planet of the Eggs Facebook page.