The best way to start writing


We’re all carrying a lot of stuff with us these days. Houses full of junk seem even more filled to the rafters when you’re stuck in it for weeks (months?) at a time.

And even if you don’t have a life full of physical things, you likely have more than your share of mental baggage these days.

And all that clutter loves to get in the way of your writing.

I brought this pile of nap time and outdoor things home from preschool nearly three weeks ago. I washed it and folded it and left it in this very neat pile, hoping that my daughter would use it again this year. Now it seems likely that it will stay in this neat pile until she takes it to kindergarten in the fall.


And so our piles of stuff migrate from the literal to the metaphorical. From our conscious to our subconscious. And when beautiful words are trying to migrate from our brains to our fingertips, they get lost in a maze of thoughts and worries and anxieties and a mile-long to-do list we know will never get finished.


Just write anyway.


If you don’t, the project that you’ve been putting off until now will sit in a corner of your brain until the kids go back to school in the fall. Or even longer. Because by then, there will be a million other reasons not to write. There will be a million other sources of metaphorical clutter getting in the way of your thoughts and your words.


When you give yourself permission to write through difficult times and in the midst of all the clutter, you’re also giving yourself permission to write crap. Total crap. You’re not writing the next great American novel or the perfect sales funnel or even a final product. You don’t even need to write complete thoughts or sentences.


Just start writing.


Today you’re just writing whatever random, seemingly unconnected thoughts come to mind. Tomorrow? That’s unwritten. Some of the best content has started with total crap. Because when you allow yourself to create in a mindset where you otherwise wouldn’t, thoughts and ideas are freed that would otherwise be trapped forever.

Today and for the coming weeks, give yourself the gift of writing crap.

How have you broken free from a mind full of clutter? Inspire others by sharing your best tips in the comments.

© 2012-2020 Midwest Writing & Editing

Meet Your Teacher

Rachel is an accomplished writer, editor, and teacher. She has written everything from textbooks and teachers' guides to websites and workbooks. Rachel taught high school English in Baltimore, where she also coached an award-winning speech team. She wrote and spoke all over Capitol Hill and for organizations back home in Minnesota. Writing and public speaking are second nature to Rachel, and she's here to give you the tools you need to feel the same way.  

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