In all the writing classes I teach, this writing lament comes up at least once from a student: “I don’t know where to start.”
Maybe they’ve started something and it didn’t pan out. The story didn’t hold their interest. Or they have this need gnawing at them to write, but they haven’t figured out what to write about.
Most of us have moments of writer’s freeze. Most of us get stuck at some point because we get into a mindset of being too orderly. But the birth of a story or poem or essay is a messy, disorderly act and imposing too much order in the beginning doesn’t work so well when you’re capturing the energy of a first draft.
It begins with letting go of your analytical mind. Ultimately every writer has to find their own way into that well. But identifying your obsessions can be a powerful way to figure out what to write about.
The beauty of writing about your obsessions is that you will fully engage, feel completely alive, and have energy to write to the end. The passionate force of your obsessions turns your writing into a transformative act.
So how do you tap these obsessions? One sure way to open the well of words and ideas is by simply writing. It always starts with moving our fingers on the keys or notebook. And in that act, our deepest fears, desires, and obsessions come to light. Try these ideas: Read more