On Your Writing Way: The First Step

Hello, everyone! Thank you for joining me on my, and perhaps your, journey to create the great American novel. I'll be posting everyday about my progress, writing tips, and some prompts or photos to get you inspired.

Like all journeys, we must begin with the first step. That first step is preparing for The Idea. You probably saw that coming. You can't write without knowing what to write about. That goes for all forms of writing. However, you have to be prepared for The Idea first.

When you get The Idea, you must, I repeat, must write it down ASAP. I've lost one too many ideas because I didn't write them down. In your head you may think you can wait and write it down later because you'll still remember it, but that is often not the case. Greatness is fleeting, including great ideas.

A great way to avoid this terrible loss is to carry a notebook and writing utensil with you. It doesn't have to be large. A small notepad would do just as well as any other notebook. You could make your own if you wish, but I'll discuss that another day. I personally prefer a hard cover journal and a pencil. Sometimes, I'll bring an eraser and pencil sharpener as well, just to be safe.

If you happen upon an idea while you are notebook-less, don't fear. If you're in a restaurant, ask for a pen and write it on a napkin. Even better, use your phone. With the emergence of smartphones, getting ideas down is easier than ever. Send yourself an email, write it down in an app, whatever works for you. I like to be old-fashioned and write it by hand, but I'll open up an app on my smartphone if I find myself without one of my journals.

This might sound superficial, but be selective with your journals and notepads. Pick one you'll actually want to write in. I have a multitude of journals for this very purpose. If I see a journal and think it'd be cool to write in it, I usually get it. I'm not saying you should spend a bunch of money buying notebooks. Just don't resign yourself to a notebook you don't get excited about writing in. If you cringe when you look at it, it's probably a good idea to find something else. The same goes for your writing utensil. If you hate writing with fountain pens, then find a pencil or a ballpoint instead. If you like writing in crayon, go for it. This isn't school or work, you can write things down however you'd like.

Last, but certainly not least, is handwriting. For those such as myself who prefer things to be handwritten, you need to write legibly. It'd be a shame if you wrote down an amazing idea and realized later that you can't read your own writing. The same goes for those who prefer to type. If you're going to use text speak or write it shorthand, make sure you'll understand your own abbreviations. It's no good if you can't read your own idea.

This should, hopefully, get you prepared for The Idea. I'll talk about how to get the idea tomorrow. For now, I'll leave you with a prompt to get that creativity flowing:

If you could read people's minds, what would their thoughts say about you or your character of choice? How would this affect you, including your relationships with others? What about your self-esteem?


If you have a prompt or your own writing tip, be sure to comment and let me know! I might add it in a future post!

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