Filling a blank page with words is hard. Fixing a bunch of terrible words is a little easier. If you’re having trouble getting started with your writing, do what you’re afraid to do: write like crap.
As one reddit user points out, writing like crap is acceptable during the early stages. It’s more important to get started and put your ideas on a page than it is to find the punchiest, catchiest first words that will draw the reader in. You can fix the problems with your draft later:
My number one piece of advice to writers (and this applies to all forms of writing, whether it’s a cover letter on your CV, a college essay, or a novel) is don’t be afraid to write like shit. Worrying over whether it’s “good” or not is an exercise you save until you’re done. Write an awful sentence. Shit, write an awful chapter. Mark it. Go back and change it later.
You don’t have to be a professional writer for this to be useful. In fact, non-professionals probably need to hear it more. If you’re not sure how to fill out your resume or what to say in an email to a relative, just write something. You can fix it later.
Photo by Fredrik Rubensson.