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6 Steps to Start Writing When You Don’t Know What to Write

Originally published on jakecrider.medium.com

What to write? If you have ever had this question, then you know it can often be accompanied by a feeling of despair usually reserved for locking your keys in your car. 

But coming up with words to write does not have to be so scary.

Maybe you have writer’s block, the inability to come up with something to write, which is a common excuse for not writing.

You can read many articles with tips and tricks on how to overcome writer’s block. They usually amount to the same message: write.

But where to begin? What to write? What is writing, anyway?

Britannica defines writing as “a form of human communication by means of a set of visible marks that are related, by convention, to some particular structural level of language.”

When tackling any task, I like to follow the KISS principle (Keep It Simple Stupid), so I prefer The American Heritage Dictionary’s definition that writing is the act or process of producing and recording words in a form that can be read and understood.

With that in mind, here is a process that I use to start writing when I don’t know what to write:

  1. Think of a word.*
  2. Find the letters required to form that word on your keyboard.
  3. Type those letters in the order necessary to form your chosen word.
  4. Repeat until you have a series of words that form a logical sentence.
  5. Repeat until you have a paragraph that makes logical sense.
  6. Space. Indent. Repeat as needed.

*If you are stuck on the first step, then try these helpful tips to think of a word:

  • Look around the room and identify an item. Use that as your first word.
  • Use a random word generator.
  • Open up a book to a random part and use the last word on the left page.
  • Go to your browser search history and find the first topic you won’t be embarrassed to write about.

Follow these simple techniques to get your fingers loose and typing. You will be amazed at the way your brain pieces together one word with the next.

On a side note, if you write in freehand then, you can adjust this process by skipping Step 2 and replace the act of typing with drawing letters by hand.

I hope this was a helpful push in the ‘write’ direction. Good luck with your next attempt at writing!


Sources:

https://www.ahdictionary.com/word/search.html?q=writing

https://www.britannica.com/topic/writing

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