Learn How To Improve Writing Skills When You’ve Encountered Writer’s Block
Whether you’re a freelance writer, essayist, or novelist, getting the first words on a page can be difficult. Oftentimes, writers obsess over the first words or sentences of their writing and can’t get past the beginning. Feelings of writer’s block and discouragement appear quickly and stall your writing. Many writers question how to start writing when they’ve already hit a roadblock. If you have ever felt like you’ve been here before, you’ve come to the right place.
When we’re writing a new blog, essay, or article, it can feel very personal. Our thoughts, experiences, and opinions are written down for others to read and perceive. Many writers are daunted by this idea and tend to fixate on this. Everyone has different tips and tricks for beating writer’s block or coming up with a new story idea. If you haven’t found ways to help you discover how to start writing, keep reading for our 5 tips.
How to Start Writing
#1 Start in the Middle
If you’re the type of writer that obsesses over the first sentence of your work, you may be causing yourself unnecessary stress. Writing can always be edited later, so if the first sentence isn’t as perfect as you’d like it to be, you can always come back to it. Instead of spending so much time on your opening lines, try starting in the middle. Most of the time, you know where your content is headed, so starting in the middle eliminates the pressure of the first sentence. Once you have a strong start to the middle of your content, you may think of the perfect way to begin the piece.
#2 Start Small
While action movies may start out with an epic or violent first scene, that doesn’t always apply to writing. In your early education classes, you probably learned about the hook of a story. A hook should be a scene, theme, or event that pulls in your reader’s attention. Done well, a hook will literally hook your reader in. Done poorly, a hook can seem anticlimactic or too intense. If you’ve wanted to learn how to improve your writing skills, practice writing hooks that are simple and effective, not an apocalyptic nightmare.
#3 Commit to a Title
If you’re still stuck on the beginning of your content and wondering how to start writing, nailing down your title first can help guide your writing. The title can always change, but your title is what should guide the rest of your writing. If the two don’t match, readers will feel the disconnect. Ask yourself why the title is important, what it means to the writing, and where it can take your writing. Many readers choose an essay or book based on its title alone. While that may seem like a lot of pressure, it’s motivation to find the right guiding words for your story.
#4 Write a Synopsis
Before you begin writing, try writing a synopsis of your content. Wherever you submit your writing will most likely require a synopsis anyways, so it’s a good idea to start early. Writing out a synopsis will relieve the pressure of having to have the perfect content written down, and instead will give you time to organize your thoughts and ideas. A synopsis can help you work out early problems and gaps in your content before you begin writing. Writing out your synopsis can also help you feel more prepared and organized going forward.
#5 Bad Writing is Okay
Perfection tends to be the Achilles’ heel of most writers. We strive for the perfect story and the perfect words. While working towards your best writing is always a great goal, it doesn’t have to happen overnight. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of getting content on the page. There is always time to go back and edit. Valuable time is wasted when you obsess over perfecting your writing as you go, instead of just writing and coming back later to clean up. When you’re having a bad writing day, just get your ideas on the page to avoid feelings of disappointment and despair. Learning how to start writing also means writing even when you feel stumped.
Practice Pen to Paper To Learn How To Start Writing
If you’re feeling inspired after reading these tips on how to start writing, your final task is to put the pen to paper. Write the title, write your synopsis, begin in the middle, whatever you have to do to start writing, just do it. Once you feel your momentum coming back, you’ll feel your confidence coming back.
While money isn’t everything, if writing is your primary job or income, you probably think about how to make money writing. It’s an honest thought. If you’re facing a bout of writer’s block, it can be worrisome to consider not meeting deadlines that could affect your pay. It’s easier said than done, but try not to panic. Use the above tips to overcome your pause in writing, and you’ll be back to your productive self in no time.