You’ve landed on a topic. Now how do you gather momentum for starting your writing?
These are my tried-and-true starting points.
I pray for the Holy Spirit to bring me verses, insights, conversations, people, books or podcasts on my topic. I love to see what God brings my way. Just yesterday at Bible study I had such a great conversation about boundaries. This led me to take that idea of boundaries and filter it through the marriage lens, my writing topic.
By the way, I write ideas on notebook paper in a three-ring binder. Eventually I’ll transfer these notes to the computer. But for now, I don’t want to miss anything God is saying to me.
Talk to Others
Although I like quiet while I write, talking to people before writing fuels me. I love to hear others’ stories, and usually other people love to tell them! As I begin to write about marriage, I start having conversations with friends and family members. I like face-to-face or phone calls, as opposed to texting or emailing, when possible.
I get the conversation steered in the direction I want to explore by throwing out some specific questions. For example, as I talk to couples for a newlywed book, I ask them: What has been the most surprising thing about marriage? What do you wish you’d known about marriage before getting married? Such enlightening conversations ensue, often leading to ideas I hadn’t thought of. The benefit of conversations is priceless.
For reaching a larger number of people for input, a survey or questionnaire is a great tool. Recently I sent out a survey to about 50 people to get their feedback about marriage. I’m aiming for couples married for different lengths of time, so I’m selective about who I send the survey to—some newlyweds, some 10 – 20 years of marriage, some 20 plus years.
I print these completed surveys and put the hard copies in a three-ring binder dedicated solely to this topic of marriage (can you tell I love a 3-ring notebook!).
The ideas above have provided the momentum I need to get writng.
Now, I sit down to write. And as I do, I know I’ll be affected by my surroundings, so I prepare a setting that also provides momentum.
My favorites include: light; something from Nature, like my favorite pink flowers; a window; quotations that inspire. I also need quiet to listen to my own thoughts. No music. No conversations.
You might be completely different—murmured talking; people coming in and out of a coffee shop; music in headphones; a companion or two seated across the table you can engage in conversation. These might be the inspiring elements to give you momentum.
Take time to find that inspiring surrounding—but don’t spend so much time creating a setting that you never get to the writing part!
I’d love to know what provides you with momentum to get started with your writing.
P.S. I’m looking for some additional people to survey about marriage, specifically married 10-20 years. If you’d like to participate in a survey, please email me at [email protected]. Tell me you’re interested and I’ll send you the questionnaire. If I choose to include anything from your responses in my manuscript, I will get your permission.