So…you feel an urge to write.
Many people like the idea of being a writer. Many agree with the old adage, ‘Everyone has at least one book in them.’ Many have had an idea that seems to beg for a book, or have lots of experience with business writing, academic writing, journalism, or technical writing, and want to try something new, different, more expansive, less restrictive. For a start, you’re not alone in wanting to write.
Most writers start out with some kind of urge to write. Sometimes it’s well-formed, focused and deliberate, and you recognise it every time it emerges from within you. But don’t worry if yours is vague, indefinite and elusive—that’s how it starts for most people.
Getting in touch with your urge to write will help you when writing gets tough, when you’re not so sure anymore why you started, when you doubt your ability to produce something that anyone else will want to read. Knowing why you’re writing will help you remember why you want to finish.
This section will look at some of the things you might want to consider when you first discover your urge to write:
- Trying to identify and articulate your idea—the core of the work you have in mind.
- Taking inspiration from within and without—sometimes even the most innocuous and everyday things can produce a spark to enliven your idea.
- Building an outline of how you think the work might look—don’t worry if there isn’t much detail yet; having in mind a beginning, a middle and an end is usually enough for you to get started.
- Building your research skills—it’s not often that you will know everything you need to know in order to develop your idea, so if there are important gaps in your knowledge, you will find that addressing those before you get started will save you time, effort and disappointment.
Remember that this is not a recipe book. The hints and considerations presented here represent the combined experience of a cross-section of writers, but they may not be relevant to your urge to write. What you have to say or how you want to say it might emerge as something completely new or original, so don’t be put off from following your urge if the information provided here doesn’t lead you where you want to go. Take what resonates with you, and leave the rest until next time.
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.