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10 Ways to Start the Writing Process When You’re Staring at a Blank Page

10 Ways to Start the Writing Process When You’re Staring at a Blank Page

Louis L'Amour is attributed as saying, “Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”1 Sounds easy enough, but a lot of times we can’t even find the faucet. Or we find the faucet but fail to turn it on.
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Louis L'Amour is attributed as saying, “Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”1
Sounds easy enough, but a lot of times we can’t even find the faucet. Or we find the faucet but fail to turn it on.
Either way, we want to write, but no words flow.
Is that you?
Are you ready to begin writing but you don’t know where to start—you don’t know how to get the words to flow?
I’ve got 10 options for you—ten faucets, if you will. I’ll bet one stands out more than the rest.
Pick one. Try it.
See if it gets those words flowing.
1. Start with a memory
Think back to an event that seems small yet feels packed with emotion. You don’t have to fully understand it. Just remember it. Something changed due to that event. The change may have been subtle or seismic, but you emerged from it a different person. 
The simple prompt “I remember” can get you started. Use it as a journal entry and see where it takes you, or go ahead and start writing something more substantial.
When you remember and recreate these scenes from your past, you’ll learn from them. I experienced this when I wrote a short scene in this style, called One Lone Duck Egg.
2. Start with a photo
Photos can whisk us back to another place and time, whether as recently as last week or as long ago as childhood.
Pull a photo from your collection of family photos, physical or digital. 
Write in response to the scene. Recreate it. Let the memories unfold. 
You could be in the photo, or not. 
You could write the story behind the moment, or elaborate on a particular person in the scene. 
What do you think was happening? Why were you—or weren’t you—there? What does this say to you today?
Another approach is to combine words with images to create a photo essay. 
Back in 2011, I walked around the farm where I grew up and snapped photos. Each time, a fragment of thought came to mind, a flash of a memory. 
When I got home, I pieced it together to come up with Dancing in the Loft.
3. Start with art
Art ignites imagination. Whether you invent a story behind the piece of art you choose, or you document your response to it, you’ll end up with an interesting project. 
One of my creative writing professors in college gave us a similar assignment to write poetry from art. It’s possible she was trying to introduce us to ekphrastic poetry,2 which, according to the Lantern Review Blog,3 is “written in conversation with a work(s) of visual art.” 
But she took a less formal approach, asking us to find some art, study it carefully, and write a poem.
I used a small, framed print of an Andrew Wyeth painting as inspiration.
I studied the boy sitting in the grass and imagined a possible scenario leading up to the moment Wyeth captured. As I was finishing the poem and typing it up, I realized I needed to include information about Wyeth’s work. I turned the frame around and fortunately I found the date and name of the painting. Wyeth named it “Faraway,”4 and I coincidentally called my poem "Runaway.”5
Spend time with the art and see where it leads.
4. Start with an object
I once wrote about an old, worn knob that topped the post at the bottom o...
Episode-id: 1000536863773
GUID: https://annkroeker.com/?p=31392
Udgivelsesdato: 28/9/2021 14.00.00

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With Ann Kroeker, Writing Coach, you'll gain clarity and overcome hurdles to become a better writer, pursue publishing, and reach your writing goals. Ann provides practical tips and motivation for writers at all stages, keeping most episodes short and focused so writers only need a few minutes to collect ideas, inspiration, resources and recommendations they can apply right away to their work. For additional insight, she incorporates interviews from authors and publishing professionals like Allison Fallon, Ron Friedman, Shawn Smucker, Jennifer Dukes Lee, and Patrice Gopo. Tune in for solutions addressing anything from self-editing and goal-setting solutions to administrative and scheduling challenges. Subscribe for ongoing input for your writing life that's efficient and encouraging. More at annkroeker.com.

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