4 Ways to Overcome The Agony of Getting Started


Lots of people have stories to tell but few people actually write them down. I’m sure there are many inspirational, helpful and funny stories that people have in their heads that never make it to either a Pages or Word document. That’s really too bad—both for the storyteller as well as for the reader who may need to read that story.

Besides that, I also find that, for many people, it’s not getting started that stands in their way. The challenge lies in transforming that initial “beginning” into the beginning of something remarkable.

So where do you begin? Let me make some suggestions

  1. Write every day. Writing is an art and it needs to be practiced and honed. I have many writer friends who write best selling books and platinum selling songs who make it a point to write something every day—even if it’s a personal journal. The key is to write every day.
  2. Make every word count. Often people write far too much to say what they are trying to say, teach or tell. Make note of your word count. Check your verbs so they reflect action and are not just “is and was or are.” Stretch your thinking to cut words so they compel me to keep reading.
  3. Keep your thoughts in files. I’ve found that I have multiple book ideas going in my head at the same time. When something gets serious—scraps of thought become sentences and paragraphs for me—I open an file and start filling it up with research, thoughts, articles and my own writing. Then, when the thoughts come together, you have one place to go that serves as a springboard to bigger and better writing.
  4. Find your reader. Once you start writing ask yourself, “who is my reader?” I then find a picture (Google images has millions) of the person to whom I’m writing. That’s my first engagement with the reader and once I know him or her, I’ll be able to focus my writing and, in a sense, write a letter to that person. Reader engagement is a huge part of selling a book, and in my mind it starts right here at the very beginning.

So, don’t suffer through the agony of getting started. Use these four tips to help you tell your story and inspire someone else who needs to read it, learn from it or simply be entertained by it.


My latest book, The Way Back From Loss, is now available from Amazon and other fine booksellers.



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Trust is the winsome wedding of faith and hope.

Brennan Manning

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