The Key is to Start

Starting provides the necessary momentum to keep going.

In a recent interview with my fellow creative friend Andrew Hall, we discussed the transition from world building and research to writing. When – and more importantly, how – do we make that transition? How much world building and outlining is too much?

I’ve given these questions additional thought, and hope to inspire you to just start the writing process.

Before driving into the first draft of my science fiction novel, I intended to have the entire story outlined. However, three months into the planning process, I had a 30,000 word outline in front of me and quickly lost interest in the story and the story world I developed in my mind. 2019 approached and I didn’t work on the novel at all, partly because I did not believe I had enough of the story planned. One of my fears is that I didn’t have a solid beginning or end and if I don’t plan it out, I would write the infinite story.

Where’s the fun in that?

Writing is to be enjoyed. Let the pressure of having the story be perfectly planned drift away.

Just start.

I believe many creatives – like myself – struggle to start, or we get addicted to starting projects and never finish them. I suffer from both. And at some point, I needed to admit to myself that world building, planning and outlining was becoming a means of procrastination. Once I figure out this section, I’ll start writing. The problem with this approach is we can plan forever.

At the start of 2020, I decided there would be no more world building. I would just start writing. Starting was – and still is – the hardest part. Yet starting creates the necessary momentum to keep going.

For those who struggle with starting, just start. That’s the key. We can build world forever. Eventually we need to get to the story before it moves on without us.

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