Want to know a little secret? No, I’m not going to sell you a ten step program guaranteed to put you on the New York Times list. But I am going to tell you what one thing you need to do as a writer.
You need to write.
You probably see a lot of posts telling you what how-to books you need to read. Or they are recommending writing classes, online conferences or Zoom webinars.
And if any of these things are what you need to do to get the words flowing, fine. Sign up for my classes. I won’t stop you. Attend a webinar on creating scenes. Whatever.
But the one thing you need to do is write.
Not sure what to write? Here are 4 suggestions.
For the compulsive list maker:
Make a list of the movies you’ve seen. Or list the books you’ve read. List your favorite book characters. List 10 settings you would like to utilize. List the poets/paintings/ice cream flavors that inspire you. If you are making a list, you are writing.
For the writer with little or no energy who is aching to start a specific story:
Write the first sentence. Make it compelling. Capture your setting. Fiddle as needed but stop at that one sentence. Unless you really need to write on. Whether you craft a sentence or a paragraph, you are writing.
For the lover of fairy tales:
Play with a favorite story. Retell Goldilocks from the point-of-view of Baby Bear. Or give it a new setting. What if Hansel and Gretel weren’t roaming through the woods but a gated community with a designer coffee bar? Play and have fun. Even if you just take notes, you are writing.
For the Instagram fan:
Scroll through your feed. When you find an image that grabs your attention, use it as a story starter for a micro story. No, not a 300 word micro story. Is that really even “micro”? Seems a bit excessive to me. What can you do in 50 words? 25 words? 10 words?
A writer writes. Sometimes a writer writes something long and lyrical. Sometimes a writer writes something short and sharp. But the one constant?
A writer writes.
Sue Bradford Edwards' is the author of over 27 books for young readers. To find out more about her writing, visit her site and blog, One Writer's Journey.
Sue is also the instructor for Research: Prepping to Write Nonfiction for Children and Young Adults (next session begins January 4, 2021) and Writing Nonfiction for Children and Young Adults (next session begins January 4, 2021).