Go ahead! Who cares if it sucks? Put words on a page. Without this first step you have nothing; you are not a writer. If you are waiting to wax brilliant with every sentence you write, then you’d better find something else to do with your time. Writing is an act of “Write once. Edit twice” or five times, or ten!

Because most writing is actually revision, it doesn’t matter exactly what you get on the page to begin with, as long as there is enough content to edit later. It’s kind of like molding clay. First you have to throw some sand, mud, and water down; Next you have to squish it around with your hands; finally you have something to mold into a shape. Glazing is like your cover—you do that right before firing, er publishing.

“Writing without revising is the literary equivalent of waltzing gaily out of the house in your underwear.”



If you’re unsure where to begin, create writing prompts

  • Here are some writing prompts to help you describe your characters: what do they look like? How do they behave? What makes them unique?
  • Here are some writing prompts to help you describe the location or locations your characters will “live” in: what’s the satellite view like? What does it look like from the street? What does the character see, hear, smell around them?
  • Get into your plot with simple prompts like: What does the character want? Why can’t they get it? What do they do about that?


Joining a writing group can get your juices flowing and also help you stay on track. There are many in-person writing groups available, check with your local library for ideas. Also, consider joining your state writing club. The Kansas Authors Club can steer you toward a group in your neck of the woods if you live in Kansas. Here are a few online writing groups to explore:

Bottom line:  just keep scratchin’!

Keep Scratchin’

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.”

– Stephen King
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