By Jennifer Blanchard
The other day on Copyblogger, Catherine Caine wrote a post that offered seven quick-start techniques for fighting the fear to write. One of those techniques really stood out to me:
Write 10 minutes of gibberish.
“If you’re looking at the blank screen with mounting horror (Have I forgotten the English language entirely?), open a new document and pound out anything,” Caine says.
Her ideas of gibberish included:
- A history of cheese
- The lyrics of your favorite song
- A stream-of-consciousness piece that starts with “Daffodil Philomena carousel elf-wine fodder marmalade”
- A cake recipe
- An imaginary shopping list
- Endless lines of All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
Making It Work
The idea behind this method is just sitting down and writing something. Doesn’t matter what it is.
“Don’t force it to make sense!” Caine warns. “Just let it flow out with no judgment or expectations. When there’s no pressure to get anything Right, for many people the mental vapor-lock vanishes. They can go back and start writing the important stuff.”
By jump-starting yourself with this simple writing exercise, you free your mind from the fear of getting started. What happens next is brilliant.
Since you’ve already been writing for 10 minutes, you’re in the “flow” and are able to keep writing without a problem.
Essentially, you’re building writing momentum.
Next thing you know, you’ll have typed 500 words of the novel you’re working on. And then you’ll type 500 more.
The next day, do the same thing again–Write anything. And then you’ll work on your novel.
The next day, do the same thing again…
And that, my procrastinating friend, is how you create–and sustain–flow.
How do you jump-start your writing?
About the Author: Jennifer Blanchard is founder of Procrastinating Writers. For more great writing tips, articles and information, follow her on Twitter.