It’s a great time to start writing fiction

Have you ever been tempted to start writing stories?

Are you saving writing until you are retired and have loads of time?

Are you looking for something that will spark your creativity?

Whatever your reason, if you haven’t tried writing stories as an adult, it’s a great way to get creative. There are infinite possibilities to explore. And the great thing is that it’s simple. You only need pen and paper to get started.

I started writing stories not that many years ago. I was looking for something new, so I threw myself in, not knowing what it would bring.

I hadn’t written any sort of creative fiction since jr high school. It wasn’t even something they wanted to bother with in high school. I suppose they believed it had no real purpose for 99.99% of us. And none of the students missed it.

I didn’t. I didn’t feel creative or good at writing stories, so I was fine not needing to deal with it.

I felt like I had no ideas.

I didn’t know where to start. And writing felt painful. I thought I was bad at it and that feeling showed. I spent the minimal amount of time working on my papers, so the writing came out stilted and choppy. Just like I didn’t enjoy the process of writing one bit.

But I really did. I wrote pages and pages in a journal when I was a teenager. I discounted that experience and the whole idea that writing could be something I enjoyed in another context.

If you feel anything like I did, you have my full sympathy. It’s not easy to go around feeling “uncreative” and that you have no ideas and will never have any. It’s pure pain.

I’ve changed my thinking since then. And I have realized you don’t have to have amazing ideas. You do need ideas, but they don’t need to be knock-you-down, great ideas. An idea is a place to start. You grow and develop them as you spend time on them. They can be reworked and remade into an outstanding idea with effort.

You never know where your little start will lead you.

I surprised myself by writing a full novel from one little scene.

It was terrible, I admit, but after about five rewrites, it’s starting to be decent. I don’t know that it will ever be published in any form. That’s not the important part right now. What I learned is.

Grab a pen and paper

One of the nicest things about having writing as a creative interest is that you don’t need anything fancy to get started. Just pen and paper. Start giving it your time and energy, which is actually worth a lot, but it’s this that makes your writing valuable in the long run.

Writing isn’t easy. Sometimes the ideas and words just don’t flow. It’s a hard fight. And the worst part is often just getting yourself to sit down and do it. The funny thing is many of us say we want to write and yet we don’t.

The best solution to this is to use a timer

If you constrain your writing time to small blocks, then you have to use it because suddenly you don’t have all day to get to writing anymore. You only have the time you set aside right now. When I do this, I focus. I usually do about twenty minutes at a time. If I focus, it’s enough to get out about 1000 words.

The other benefit to this is that it gets you out of overthinking mode and into action. Your only job in those minutes is writing, and that makes it easier. Whatever comes, you write without worrying about it. Save that for your edits.

If you do this, you create your writing habit. It makes it much easier to keep rolling along once you have momentum. But be careful, it’s very easy to fall out of the habit. Once I have my habit established I fight to keep away anything that will disturb it. Which is not easy!

If you feel too old

You aren’t.

Age is no barrier to beginning a writing habit or carreer. Plenty of very good authors didn’t begin until they will in their 40s, 50s, or 60s. And even later than that is fine too. The years have taught you much, and you have many experiences at your fingertips ready to be put into writing.

Explore, have fun, and enjoy playing with your characters.

If you feel inclined to try writing, go for it. Have some fun with it! You might just find something you really love.