This follows on the heels of my Procrastination post for a reason. Sometimes you need to write, or you know you need to, but you just can’t get started. (Hence the procrastination.) I think we’ve all been there at some point or another. When that happens, the key is to just write. What comes out doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact, it shouldn’t be. If you’re taking the time to craft flawlessly exquisite sentences on your first draft, you’re holding yourself back. Let everything flow, and yes, you can let all the nonsensical stuff out too. You can sort it out later, and you might just find some of those silly things worming their way into your work in a more serious capacity on the rewrite.
For the most part, just sitting there (AIS!) letting whatever happens in your brain flow out onto the paper will get you started. It’s a bit like stretching before you exercise: once you’re limbered up, things get easier. However, if you’re well and truly stuck with whatever you’re working on, you might switch to simply writing a short poem, or dashing off a flash fiction. Of course looking at photos or writing prompts might inspire you as well. I find “Writing Down the Bones” by Natalie Goldberg very inspiring. But caveat lector! It’s all too easy to let the inspiration hunt turn into procrastination. Almost without exception, if you simply sit there and make yourself start, you’ll find that you can keep going. You can reward yourself later with those inspirational goodies. 🙂