Writing can sometimes be quite the chore. Whether fiction or non-fiction, sometimes that focus to sit down and make the words come to mind is just missing. Nothing is more frustrating than having a newspaper deadline and you can’t even come up with the first line of the story.
I have leaned if I am having trouble getting started, I move beyond what I am struggling with. If working on news, I can move on to the quotes I want to use, sometimes that is enough to make the rest of it flow. Sometimes, it’s easier to start at the end and work backward. In fiction I can create a conversation, or a scene, that doesn’t really relate to the area I’m trying to concentrate on but can kick start my creativity.
I must be careful though, in fiction. One scene can lead to another, and I find myself way off track. In news writing, it is not as easy to get lost down a different road. There are parameters, an end to the interview or information. For fiction, those side roads can become endless.
What really works best for me is after a couple of minutes of typing nothing, I tell myself “something is better than nothing.” Then “really, you’re not going to type anything.” Which can lead to, “NOTHING? Really, that’s how you want to spend your time?” Then I tell myself with a great deal of frustration, “one word, that’s all you need.” After another amount of time, “So, you can’t even come up with one word.”
On the worst days I just think, “there’s laundry that needs done, a floor vacuumed.” I should lead with that. Nothing gets my mind back on track like the thought of housework.