Are You Stuck Writing the Beginning?

Momentum is a funny thing…

081616-RunningDownHillOnce you’re in motion – once the words are hitting the paper – there’s a feeling of running downhill, where each word falls out of your brain and onto the page easier, faster.

But getting those first few words onto the page so you can feel the benefits of momentum can be… tricky.

A friend of mine, Pamela Zimmer, was writing an article yesterday. She posted on Facebook, “So much to say… but can’t get those first few (perfect) words onto the page.”

And haven’t we all been there? When you can feel the story, the message, the words bubbling up but you can’t seem to get to the right pressure to have them actually bubble over. All too often, writers get frustrated in that moment and choose to walk away. They choose to not put words, any words, down onto the page.

So much to say but can't get those first few (perfect) words onto the page. What to do? Share on X

Sound like anybody you know?

Are you so stuck with getting the beginning right that you forget about all the other things you want to express?

It’s something unique to non-fiction – and introduction. Really, in fiction (especially in short stories) the author doesn’t start at the beginning. She starts in the middle of the action. It’s not getting ready to shoot someone – the reader enters the story when the gun is in hand, finger on the trigger. In the MIDDLE of the moment.

So why do we abandon that when we’re writing non-fiction? Why the huge lead-ups, lengthy introductions? (BTW, this goes for books and articles!)

081616-FingersDirtyJust START already – get in there, get your hands dirty.

Because here’s the thing: all momentum comes from getting into – you guessed it – motion!

Start from where you can see – the words you do have, even if you feel that more words should come before. And what you’ll often find is that you don’t really need that lengthy introduction, the buildup, the literary foreplay.

What you really need is what you already have. Words on the page.

Oh, and here’s the advice I game Pamela, “So start with the IMPERFECT words and come back to the beginning.”

And you know what? She did. Read her article here.

Kim Galloway
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