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Writer Anxiety: The First Words Are The Hardest [Writer's Diary]

What is it about sitting in front of a computer that creates so much anxiety?

I'm an imaginative person. Everyday, there is a crazy idea rattling inside my head. For example, right now I'm thinking, how cool it would be to hop in and out of my dog's brain. Like, what is he really thinking when he stares at me with those judgy judgy eyes. People tell me all the time that he is so cute and how could I say that. Then they see him in person and wonder. Is he judging you?

YES! YES! My dog is judging me all the time!

Anyway, crazy thoughts constantly.

But, when I sit at the computer my mind blanks out until the first word hits the screen. Then BOOM! Words galore.

The trick is that I have to get those first words on the screen. I've tried several methods for getting those first words.

  • Typing a random word. This could be any word even the word 'peanuts' then I either delete it and get going or I keep it on the page.

  • Taking part in word sprints. This is where people get together (or you can do it alone), a timer is set and you race (type as many words) until the timer ends. This method is to get out of your head. The goal isn't to type perfectly it is to get words onto the paper that you can edit later.

  • Pre-writing words. I stop my previous writing session before I run out of ideas. I write down how the next session should start. This way when I set down I can look at the note and start from there.

Every method I use it works. When I'm stuck staring at the screen, I just need to remember to try one. Here's hoping that my words find the page and that someone wants to read them.

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