Writing: Getting Started

Tips for Getting Started

Everyone has a story to tell. You’re never too old to start writing - in fact, the older you are, the more experiences you have to draw upon and the more you have to write about.

Get into the habit of writing every day even if it’s only a paragraph or some ideas in a notebook and it will quickly become less scary and more routine. Schedule a time for it, even if it’s only 30 minutes and try to keep to it.

Give yourself permission to write - block interruptions, phone calls, emails & try to say no to requests for your time during these periods.

Keep a journal and write in it every day. Even if you never have before, start one now (it will also help with your memory as you get older!)

Keep a notebook handy for ideas - write down interesting observations, stories, conversations and incidents from your everyday life.

Write about what you know – this creates an authentic voice (but it doesn’t need to have happened to you).

Read widely especially in the genre you want to use for your own writing. Think about what makes the stories or novels you read so good (or maybe not so good).

Don't compare yourself with others. It is not a competition! You will find your own 'voice'.

Keep your exercises from any writing classes you attend - you may be able to use them later on in stories or a novel.

Good writing is a skill that can be learned. There is a wealth of information – ideas, competitions etc. available on the Internet if you want to use it.

There are people interested in all sorts of stories and styles. You don’t have to be Jane Austen or Shakespeare to bring pleasure to your readers (and books that win prizes don’t often become best sellers).

Thinking about writing is not writing. Planning your writing is not writing. Talking to friends about what you’re going to write is not writing. Writing is writing!