I spent a couple years in the “writer’s closet.” I didn’t tell anyone, besides family, that I was writing. As soon as I finally “came out,” I started having people confide in me that they too have dreamt of writing a book and that they too have a story that they’d like to tell.
My answer is always the same. Do it! Writing has brought me an immense amount of joy (heartache too, but that’s a topic for another day). Why wouldn’t I want everyone to give it a try? If you’ve ever been whisked away by a book, transported somewhere new, felt the adrenaline rush of new adventure, those feelings are dwarfed by the thrill of writing your own story.
The best way to start is to—well, start. Grab a sheet of paper. Open a new Word document. Pick a time when you can have an hour of solitude and just start writing. No, I don’t advise taking a class first or reading through umpteen books on writing first. If you would like to write, then begin putting words on paper. Tolkien began the Lord of the Rings series on a whim with these words scribbled on a sheet of paper: “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” Write your first word, then your first sentence. Move on to paragraphs, then to pages. Don’t scrutinize. Don’t edit. Write. There is no magical way to begin. Remember:
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” –Lao Tzu
Many of you will discover you don’t like it. It’s not for you. But, many of you will discover the joy of writing. And if you like it, want to continue, and improve your craft talk to me. I can help you get started. But for today—write your first sentence and let your adventure begin.