Many are daunted by the prospect of writing. And that’s entirely understandable—even seasoned writers will often experience apprehension at the outset of a new project. That’s because writing isn’t easy. It’s the difficulty that makes writing daunting, and also what makes it worthwhile.
When you write, you create something out of nothing, something the world hasn’t seen before. But creativity takes courage, work and self-belief. So, whether you’re approaching writing for the first time, or you’re returning to it, you’ll need to gather your courage in order to make the best start that you can. Good preparation will help you get there.
This section will look at some of the things you might want to think about when you realise that you want to take action in response to your urge to write:
- Identifying what you’re looking to achieve in choosing to write – what do you want to do with your work when it’s done?
- Gauging what level of support from family and friends you can expect – if your urge to write is strong, there will almost certainly be an impact on those close to you.
- Selecting a genre for your work – is it obvious to you yet what style of work you want to produce?
- Building experience – getting a realistic appreciation of what you already know and what else you’ll need to learn along the way.
- Facing the blank page and getting started – taking the first steps despite your uncertainty.
- Using your reading as a stimulus for your writing – either to get you on your way or to keep you going.
- Getting feedback on your work as you progress – getting other sets of eyes on your work and using those other perspectives.
You don’t have to have everything sorted out completely before you start writing. You just need to have done enough preparation that you don’t fall into a hole while you’re still feeling your way forward. The idea of gathering your courage before you start is about making those first few steps. Steven King once wrote, ‘The scariest moment is always just before you start.’ After that, it’s your purpose in writing that will keep you going.
If you find that the material presented doesn’t quite answer your question, ask a writer.
Finally, we’ve also collected a number of other helpful links which you might find useful to access.
 King. Steven, On Writing, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 2001; p325.