Finding Your Way into Writing
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
― Lao Tzu
Maybe you think it’s too difficult to begin writing. The truth is, starting to write is no more difficult than taking one step. When you were a baby, before you learned to walk, that single step seemed so daunting. And yet, somehow, you did it. Somehow you got up on your wobbly legs and took your first step.
Doing so took a lot of faith. In your developing brain, you assessed the risks — you might fall — and you took the step anyway. In the years since, you have walked thousands of miles. What didn’t seem possible became inevitable.
Taking the first step in writing, when you think about it, is so much less daunting than so many things you’ve already done in your life, beginning with that first step you took as a baby, the step that catapulted you, in one swift, life-changing moment, from baby to toddler. You began toddling around. Sure, you bumped your knees and fell and banged into things. In the beginning, it wasn’t graceful. Every step took effort and concentration.
Eventually, for most of us, we learned to walk. We stopped thinking about banged knees and bumping into things. Walking became second nature.
You can do it with writing too.
What does a single step mean to you? It may mean:
- Writing the first sentence of your novel
- Committing to a new project, whether it be a short story, a novel, a memoir, or even just a blog post (Read 5 Steps to Starting a New Writing Project)
- Writing this at the top of the page: “Today I will write.”
- Creating a scene list
Your first step toward writing may not involve writing at all. It may mean
- Cleaning off your desk
- Buying a good notebook and pen
- Setting aside 30 minutes in your schedule
- Telling one person you’re going to start writing
What is your first step? Go ahead. Take the first step today.