The blinking cursor is staring back at you. A pencil is in your hand, tapping a stuttering rhythm against the paper. You’re staring at the blank first page of your document.
No matter how many times you do it, the beginning page of the anything you write will always be a fearsome opponent. I know that I have stared at the blank page before and sat there for several minutes without writing a single word. Then there are the times where you write what seems to be the best beginning in the whole world…only to go back and delete it all a few minutes later.
It hurts, it really does. But that first line is not as important as you might think.
Why it’s Not that Important
Yes, I know that the first line is the hook. It’s supposed to pull the reader in, to drag them deep into your writing and keep them there. But there is this wonderful thing called editing. No matter what your first line is, you can always go back and change it later.
What really is important is to just put something, anything, on the page. For all it matters, you could put a picture of a goldfish there and it would be enough for the moment. Just put something down.
A Trick that Might Help
I know it can be difficult to just put something down, no matter what it was. Truly, I do know. But there is a way to save your sanity! Just write the word “hello.” Literally, just write down that word and skip to the next line.
You now have written something on the page. All that blank white space isn’t staring up at you like an empty wasteland anymore. Now, take that one word and keep going. It’s a first word, a first step, and that’s often all you need to start your journey.
Of course, you can pick any word you wish to use. I only suggested “hello” because it is a good greeting, a nice little opening between you and whatever you are creating.
Now, go put a word down and get writing!
Do you have any tricks for making that first page not so scary?