Especially when you’re not a writer?

I’ve written most of my life, and I’ve done it professionally for more than 15 years–including editing trade magazines, working in journalism, advertising, and in-house at companies. Here are my suggestions for how to just start writing.

Note: You might be feeling overwhelmed or lost, but don’t worry- there are plenty of ways how to start writing that doesn’t require a lot of experience or formal training. In fact, many great writers weren’t born writers–they learned how to start writing over time and with a lot of practice.

How do you just start writing? Here are a few tips that can help you get started:

1. Start small

Don’t try to write an entire novel your first time out. Start with a short story, essay, or poem. This will help you get comfortable with the process and make it less intimidating.

2. Read tips from others

Practice how to start writing by reading how other writers have done it- especially the writers whose work you admire. This way, you can see how they’ve opened their pieces and how it has affected you as a reader. I’m not a huge Stephen King fan, but his book On Writing is great! Record your favorite tips and keep them in one place so that you can refer to them later.

3. Quality is Second (At First)

Don’t worry about the quality of your writing at the beginning. The key is getting started — it doesn’t matter how you start, as long as you start. You can always go back and fix it later.

4. Journal

Keep a daily journal or diary to help you get more comfortable with writing on a consistent basis. This how how how how how how how how how how how how how will help you get more comfortable with putting your thoughts and ideas into words.

5. Try different styles

Try writing in different styles and genres to see what you like best and develop your own personal style and voice. This will also expand your creativity. You may begin by imitating the writers whose work you admire, but eventually, you will develop your own voice and style.

6. Be Prepared

Always keep your writing materials ready to go so you can practice whenever an idea strikes you–even if it’s jotting down an idea in the middle of the night.

7. Be patient

Writing can take time to master, but don’t give up on your goal of being a writer because you think it’s too hard or difficult. Mastering the craft of writing is like learning anything else in life–it takes time and practice, but with hard work and interest, it can be done.

8. Understand grammar

Do your research and learn the rules of grammar and punctuation before you begin to tinker with your own writing style. The more you know about proper word usage, sentence structure, overall organization, etc., the easier it will be for you to start writing.

9. Enjoy yourself

If you are enjoying the process of becoming a writer, this will naturally come through in your writing. Sometimes you may need to quit for a moment; other times you may need to challenge yourself to push through!

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