I’ve had the terror, I’m sure most writers have had it. You stare at that pristine white page on your computer screen or in your notebook and you think to yourself: What I’m about to write has to be amazing. Insighful. Pullitzer prize winning stuff. I don’t waste my time being mundane, by writing normal stuff. Be fantastic all the time. Get that opening sentence right the first time round.
I forget who said it, but I recall reading it over at the Deadline Dames but basically, you have to give yourself permission to suck.
Very few people – unless you are a savant, probably – get to sit down and write this amazing opus the very first time around. And at first draft it was perfect and it got an agent and sold. Personally I think this is how non-writers think writers work. They do not realise that there are several drafts of the same novel. I have a friend who has gone through 13 drafts of the same novel. 13!
So yes, start somewhere. Write down a character description. Or write a background for your character / where they live/ go to school / who their friends are / what their hobbies are. Just sort of doodle on the page if you don’t have a “concrete” way to start. Also, don’t agonise over that first line. Put anything down…you can always change it later. Because you are the boss. Don’t forget that!
Note: The picture I’ve used above is from a website called Contextual Bias – and I’m linking to the article it came from because randomly, it ties in with what I’ve written here. This weird synchronicity happens sometimes – I take it as a sign that the ‘Verse is smiling on a particular endeavour.