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Foxx's avatar

How do I push myself to start writing?

Asked by Foxx (59points) April 9th, 2010

I’m not scared to start, nor do I have any other excuse. I just keep slacking off and getting distracted. This story has been at the forefront of my brain for weeks, I just can’t seem to get myself to sit down, be still and and start writing! Help? How do I push myself to start already?

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14 Answers

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Coloma's avatar long as it’s in your head the rough draft is already saved. lol

Lightning's avatar

Put a pencil on a sheet of paper. It helps.

kevbo's avatar

Sit in front of your writing space for one minute. Repeat until you start writing.

squidcake's avatar

I was in a position like that a while ago. The thing is, tackling a whole project at once seems daunting. I wanted to write a novel, but didn’t know where to start.
What I did was start small, did little bits at a time. I started by jotting down notes on each character in mind, then writing a really, really, basic outline of the plot.
Then you can flesh things out later.
Just think: baby steps! It makes things easier to handle.


As an English major in the Honors Program in university many years ago, I know exactly what you mean Foxx. That blank piece of paper is just sitting there, right in front of you, staring at you, and you don’t know how to begin or you have no motivation to start. It’s really tough, I know. The only advice I can give you, however, is to “just do it”. Once you start writing some words on the page, you will feel a bit more interested in your paper, a bit more motivated. But don’t stop! Keep at it until you finish an introductory paragraph, or at least a thesis topic. Once you get that down, it’s like a road-map to the rest of your paper. Use your paper as your “argument”, and view your teacher or prof as the person you are trying to convince how “good” and “worthwhile” your argument is. Take a position and defend it by using examples to support your argument. Soon you will get into your writing and it won’t seem like such a difficult task after all. Good luck.

wundayatta's avatar

I had to write this true crime novel once. I just couldn’t get going on it. The deadline was getting closer and closer. My agent was calling me every day. Finally the deadline was past and I kept promising I was just a week away. “You better be,” said my agent.

I realized it just wasn’t going to happen, and I set out to drink myself stupid. Way stupid, as it turned out. In fact, so stupid I hadda invent another wordta describe it. Wish I could remember that word, now. Anyhow.

Somehow I found myself at this strip club. Badda Boom Badda Bing. Something like that. There were these guys hanging around, and I realized I could do myself a solid. I hadda been four sheets to the wind, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

So I actually hired these guys to collect on me. I told them to break the knuckles of this writer if he didn’t deliver the goods in a week. Next morning, bright and early, they show up at my doorstep. They tell me that if the story ain’t in by this time next week, they’re gonna break one knuckle per day until it is in.

Can you believe it? I paid to have my own knuckle broke! But it worked. After that first knuckle, I had the story finished the next day. I even broke even on my advance.

I don’t recommend it, but it could work.

thriftymaid's avatar

Don’t be a fruitcake; just do it!

tranquilsea's avatar

If you are still stuck in November you can take part in Nanowrimo I did it last year and it was great. The best advice I had came from that site. Just start typing and don’t stop. Drop aliens in you writing, drive by shootings, dream sequences. Sure, you’ll have to edit a lot out, but it gets the story going.

You can also try the software Write Or Die It has some pretty interesting consequences if you stop writing for any length of time.

zophu's avatar

Creative writing is pointless if you have to force yourself to do it. There are enough stillbirths on the shelves.

Get into the habit of writing down your more significant thoughts. Carry a durable pocket-sized pad of paper and pencil. Manage your time so that there’s plenty of flexible room for writing. And if you have something worth writing, you’ll write it eventually – by accident almost.

The only time you should force anything is either for practice or for money.

zophu's avatar


That’s one way to inspire yourself…

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Sit down at your desk and free write. Don’t edit it or critique it. Just do it.
If the work flows, continue. If not, take a break for an hour and start again.

Don’t discard your attempts until the work is completed.

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