10 Ways to Conquer the Blank Page

Want to write but don’t know where to begin?

Got that burning need inside but finding that blank page a little too daunting?

Here are my top ten tips to help you get started:

1. Write a journal

Just write about your day or week so far, it’ll help you start to put pen to paper (or fingers to keys!) without having pressure to write the story

2. Borrow a first line

That first line can be oh-so daunting, so why not try borrowing one from a book, continuing the story on from it? This may help you get into your flow – just remember to delete it after! Alternatively, you could start with a headline from a newspaper.

3. Write something bad

To lessen the pressure of feeling like whatever you write has to be good, try to write something really, really bad! I did this and ended up with ‘Zombies on a Boat’ – featured in the ‘To Hull and Back’ Anthology.

4. Try some writing exercises

There are plenty of these around in books and on the internet, so have a look around for one that suits you. Maybe try writing a story based on a photograph, or by using each letter of the alphabet as the starting letter of each sentence.

5. Scribble

Try drawing pictures, doodling, whatever feels right just to start yourself off. Maybe also try free writing – just writing, no thinking! Even if that means starting ‘I don’t know what to write’! Just keep going and see where it leads. Try writing with a different hand to usual if you want to really have some fun!

6. Pick your time

If you’re a morning person, embrace that and start your writing then. If you need five cups of coffee before you can function, then plan to do it then. Or…

7. If you’re not a planner…

Keep note books (or your phone or other device of choice) with you and by your bed. Dreams can sometimes contain great ideas. Maybe subtly get your notebook out when you overhear juicy conversations in café’s!

8. Enrol on a writing course, or start a writing group!

Support from other writers can build confidence and be very motivational.

9. Don’t compare or judge

Nobody else needs to see what you’re writing if you don’t want them to, so let loose! You can always go back and edit as much as you want to. All writers are different and you should never try to be like someone else. Just write how you write, practice, and embrace and accept your own style.

10. Chill out and have fun!

Don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself; relax and let your creativity flow. Don’t doubt yourself, just have a go. What’s the worst that could happen? So, what are you waiting for? Go and enjoy!

 

Words by Mel Ciavucco

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