By Jordan Ardoin
So you want to write a book and publish a book. Or an essay. Or a poem. Or an instructional guide on raising emus. Whatever kind of writer you are (or want to be), at some point you’ve probably asked the One, the penultimate Question: how do I do this? Answering that question may seem daunting, even impossible, at first. How do you start the process of turning an idea in your head into an actual, physical piece of work?
The answer is so simple it’s almost hard to believe. How do you start? By starting, of course.
“Oh, no,” you’re probably thinking at this point. “I thought I’d finally found the secret to writing, but this isn’t real advice at all. What a waste of time. I’m never reading another blog post again.” But stay with me! This is good advice, I promise.
So many new writers (old ones, too) spend all their time stressing about what and how to write and never get around to actually writing. And there’s the problem. The only way to write is to write. As Shia LaBeouf would say, just do it! Whatever you’ve got in your head, put it on the page. It doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact, it doesn’t even have to be good. Author Harlan Coben already said it: “Write. Just write. You can always fix bad pages. You can’t fix no pages.” (See, I’m not just making this up!)
I know, I know, “writing” isn’t exactly a simple, easy step. I lied to get you to read this; I’ll admit it. Writing is intimidating and frustrating and slow. It’s also very easy to put off. I know this because I’m probably the world’s best procrastinator.
Trust me when I say that I know how difficult it is to get started, and I know how difficult it is to stick with something you’ve been working on for a long time. But if you want to be a writer, you have to learn some time. And the only way to learn a craft is to practice it. So, let’s get writing.