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    How do You Start Writing?

    Beginning writers often wonder how to start writing. It's the worry they get themselves into right away that mostly hinders them from getting anything written down. Most fall into the trap of getting themselves "blocked."

    Below are six writing prompts you, the beginning writer, can use to start off your writing. In time, you'll be able to write without prompts but for now, why don't you try these?

    1. "I write because..."
      Think of as many reasons as you can. Any reason why you know and feel that you should and could write, and why you write. Then from your list, see if you can turn your reasons into an essay, a story or a poem.

    2. Sit still for five minutes. Close your eyes and listen. Don't think, just listen. What sounds do you hear? Is there music? Rustling leaves? Is your TV on?

      After five minutes, write down all the sounds on a piece of paper. If you can't think of the correct words for the sounds, write how they sounded (example: "bbbzzztttt" for something you heard).

      Now use the sounds on your list to create "sound poetry."

    3. Here is a prompt or a story starter. Use this to write a 250-word story or essay.

      "When the dust settled, he saw..."

    4. Quotes are powerful writing starters. They evoke emotions, insights and inspirations for any writer. What's your favorite quote? It may be something a famous dead person said, or a line in a song, or a passage in the Bible.

      Write the quote on top of your page and write your interpretation of your favorite quote. You can inspire, motivate or even impart a lesson.

    5. When was the last time you received a letter? Or a postcard? Whom was it from? What did it say? Did you reply to the letter?

      Write yourself a letter. Pretend that you are somebody else. Put yourself in your neighbor's shoes, or your old friend's shoes. If you were them, what would you want to tell yourself, or want to know about yourself?

    6. When you ride a bus or a car in one of your trips, what do you do? Do you sleep most of the trip? Do you stare out the window and watch unseeingly the view? Or do you take it all in -- the greenery, the buildings, the people, the colors, the hues, the clouds?

      Recall the most recent trip you've had. Where did you come from and where were you going? Why were you going there? How long was the trip? What did you see on the way? This short exercise will help you with your power of recalling details. The more you recall, the more detailed your writing will be. Do this exercise on a regular basis and you will be able to write with good use of details. But for now, just aim to write at least 300 words about your trip. Deal? Ok, get on with writing and tell me about your trip!

    I hope the prompts I have created for you will help you get those words out of your head and onto the paper.

    Drop me a line and share with me your writing if you are inclined. Until then, great writing to you!

    Copyright © 2001 Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ

    Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ creates and teaches free e-mail courses for writers at Sign up for a class today.

    The Authentic Self: Journaling Your Joys, Griefs and Everything in Between by Shery Russ

    WEEKLY WRITES: 52 Weeks of Writing Bliss! Kick start your imagination, ignite your creativity, and begin your journey towards becoming an outstanding writer.

    Grab a copy of WEEKLY WRITES: 52 Weeks of Writing Bliss! from and receive 2 free e-books to encourage and nurture the writer in you. You'll also receive Write Memories, a journaling workbook available for free only to WEEKLY WRITES book owners. And finally, as a WEEKLY WRITES book owner, you'll have free access to e-mail courses such as JOYFUL WRITES: Celebrate Your Life through Writing

    For excerpts, reviews and what you need to do to receive the 2 free e-books, Write Memories and sign up for free e-mail courses, just head on to the Weekly Writes Book Official Site. (Clicking on the link will open a new window.)


    The Journaling Life: 21 Types of Journals You Can Create to Express Yourself and Record Pieces of Your Life

    The Authentic Self: Journaling Your Joys, Griefs and Everything in Between

    Journaling Kit - Four Journaling Books to help you put your life and memories on paper


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