Thursday, April 29, 2010

Getting Started

Had dinner last night with a journalist friend. We were talking about the writing process and how to get started with a story or an article. His method is to give himself no more than 15 minutes to stare at a blank screen. After his 15-minute grace period, he forces himself to start typing and not stop for a paragraph or two.

He doesn't expect anything he types to make sense yet, but it's important to get something on the screen. He then revises or, more often, replaces those paragraphs over and over until he's satisfied that he has his lead (in journalistic circles, the opening of the article). At that point, he's off and running.

Different story with me. If I had to feel good about the first paragraph before moving on to the second, I'd never be able to complete a story.


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