Monday, October 29, 2012

Just Start Writing


Have you ever felt paralyzed by your ideas? You have the genesis for a book, short story or blog post but the idea doesn’t feel fully formed so you decide to think on it. And think. And think. And think. In fact, you may think on it so long you never even getting around to writing it. Or you may sit down at the computer, hands poised over the keyboard ready to write, but when the words don’t flow and the thoughts don’t gel in your mind, you get frustrated.

In these situations look to Edgar Allan Poe and just write. An article in the October issue of The Writer lays out Poe’s advice to writers (“Advice from the crypt” by B.K. Stevens). While we know Poe wrote creepy poems and haunting mysteries, he also wrote about the subject of writing.

The article notes:

The “mere” act of writing, Poe believed, helps writers make their ideas not only clearer but more logical. To use his phrase, the process of writing contributes to “the logicalization of thought.”

It’s a rare situation that our work is perfect in the first draft. We always go back and make edits or rearrange sentences. But you have to have some words on the page before you can begin the editing process. So taking that first step toward simply writing will set you on the path. No one has to read that first (second or even third) draft so let the words flow onto the page and you may just find that by picking up a pen or sitting at the keyboard your thoughts will be begin to make sense. 

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