6: READY, FIRE, AIM
Many creative people are waiting for the right time to get started on their book or their painting or their whatever. They want to be sure they have all the resources they need.
The bad news first: It may never be exactly the right time, and you may never feel you have all the resources you need.
The bad news: It doesn't matter. Get started, see what happens, adjust, persist.
The first step? Anything.
For instance, let's say you're a nurse and you have a vague idea of writing a book about a nurse but you're not sure that you have the time, or that you know enough to write a novel, or that anybody would want to read it. Here are a few things you could do (if you don't want to write about a nurse, adjust these as necessary):
* Come up with a name for your main character.
* Take notes. Lots of notes. Jot down any ideas that come to mind, even fragments. Interesting patients, problems at work, conflicts that come up (conflicts are good, at least for a writer). Don't rush into trying to figure out your plot.
* Think about what conflicts this nurse experiences that could be interesting for a reader. For instance, could it be about a nurse who is overruled by a doctor but gets blamed when the patient dies? Or could it be about a nurse who suspects a doctor or another nurse of being responsible for a series of deaths at their hospital? Or a nurse who falls in love with a patient and marries him, only to find that he no longer wants her to follow her profession? Each one of these automatically suggests new characters.
* When you have a general idea of a story, try writing short scenes. Don't wait until you have a big block of time, just start. You will find that soon new ideas start being attracted to you. The more ideas you have, the more will show up.
* Don't think you have to start at the beginning. If you have a scene in mind for the middle or the end, write that one. Then work backward or forward.
* Don't worry if it's not perfect. First drafts are supposed to be bad. Keep going. Later you can get feedback and rewrite, for now just get on with it. Tell your inner critic to shut up.
Pretty soon you will find that although it's not the perfect time to write, you're writing. Congratulations!
(My book, Creativity Now, helps you develop a mindset that favors creativity, shows you methods for generating more ideas, gives you tools for translating your ideas into action, and inspires you with case studies of how others have achieved their creative goals. It's published by Pearson and available from Amazon or your other favorite book seller.)