I’m coming up with ideas for stories I want to write, but whenever I try to even start writing I get overwhelmed or writers block. Any tips on how I can start writing or even layout a plot?

22. Januar 2017 Texte


Just. Write.

Just because you’ve written it down, doesn’t mean you have to keep it that way. It’s your story; you’re free to change things. People get caught up wanting to get the perfect idea out on the page on the first time.

It’s bullshit. 

No idea is perfect the first time. Not a single one. Doesn’t matter if it’s an idea for a book, a piece of code, or a business proposal, no idea is perfect the first attempt. It’s why we edit, iterate, writer multiple drafts, and ask for feedback.

Stop expecting your rough draft to be something it’s not, i.e. perfect. It’s called a rough draft for a reason. I was listening to a podcast not too long ago (The Moment with Brian Koppelman) and he had on an author who had a great system. Here’s the cliff notes version:

  1. Write EVERY day. Consistency is key. Quantity begets quality in writing, so get your ideas out of your head and on to a page. If you’re thinking “This is crap” type This is crap on the page. Don’t be afraid. Ask yourself “What if?” and write.
  2. Don’t look at that draft for two days. So if you wrote 300 words on Monday, don’t look at them till Wednesday, but keep writing those daily pages.
  3. After two days, pull out that draft and edit it. Guess what? A lot of it will be crap. That’s okay. You’ll have a starting point to go from and that’s what’s valuable. Some may be ideas you can use in a current story, others will be ideas for other stories. All are great. Just keep going.
  4. Repeat.

Here’s a personal example. 

When I started Sirens in 2012, I wrote 75,000 words in a month. 74,000 was CRAP– me talking things out, trying different personalities, plot points, etc. on for size. Did I like how that bit of dialogue sounded? What if I had this person do X and it impacted Y? I wrote that all out. That simple process of writing down what I imagined, of thinking things through combined with that sliver of words transformed into several key ideas/scenes I was able to build from.

Ultimately, the only thing stopping you from writing is you, so what are you going to do about it?