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  • Writer's pictureRachel Paige

Getting a Running...

I don't know about you guys, but I have trouble getting started when I write. I can't tell you how many times I've opened the document, scrolled to where I left off, and sat there staring until I finally closed it and decided I'd try again later. I usually do not try again later.

But there's two things I do when I write that help me get started. One is intentional, the other is not.

I have a habit of not finishing sentences. As in, I'll be writing and think "oh! I should look that up!" and switch tabs in the middle of a sentence. Or I'll be writing and get hungry or my phone will buzz and I'll leave without finishing the thought. Guys, just now, I typed "I'll be writing" and then stopped to refill my water bottle. I came right back, but still.

This can be super annoying because often, when I open my document to write, the last sentence is incomplete. I just checked and in my current project, the last thing I wrote is "I tried to argue, but he" and that's it. He what? I have no idea. I don't remember where I was going with that. I usually don't. Which can be frustrating.

But, it can also be super helpful. Because finishing a sentence isn't very hard. I can look back at the scene and figure out what he would be doing to stop the narrator from arguing. Once I do that, I can probably figure out what the narrator would do in response and Bam! The words are moving.

The other thing I do to get started is leave a note. If I finish writing at a good stopping place and actually finish the sentence, I'll leave myself a note in all caps with where I think the story is going from there. I do it in all caps so I don't forget to delete it later. Sometimes this is what I think will happen in the next chapter, or a specific line I know a character needs to say soon. Sometimes it's how I want the next chapter to start, or where I think the entire plot is going.

These notes are anywhere from a sentence to over a page long. If I get cut off and don't have time to write the next chapter, but could, the notes are much longer. But no matter how long they are, they give me somewhere to start next time I sit down.

Usually, I have one of these. But when I don't, I tend to get stuck. I don't know where to go next and I'm not in the writing mindset I was in last time I was working.

So if you're anything like me and have trouble getting started, try giving yourself a running start. Leave a note of what you think will happen next to give future you something to work with. If you want to be like me and leave a half-finished sentence every time you get up, go ahead and try it. But I will say that one doesn't work if you force it. Because if you remember exactly what you were going to put there, then it's no different than having it be there.

But go ahead and give these a try and tell me if they helped!


Do you have trouble getting started? What else do you do to get going?

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