I came across this really cool page while surfing the website StumbleUpon (a website dedicated to finding you random and interesting things based on your interests, totally worth creating an account for. It’s a great way to procrastinate and learn at the same time.) It highlighted the site oneword.com, which provides a great exercise for writers to get into the habit of simply writing.
It gives you one simple word, and from there challenges you to write whatever comes into your mind. No extensive thinking required, it really encourages spontaneous writing. Thus, you are writing just for the pleasure of challenging yourself to write. There is no other motivation, and therefore really liberating.
I was sharing some thoughts with a couple young writers today, and we discussed the difficulty of beginning a new story. The advice that I found myself giving is to simply write one word. Sometimes, in order to get the mind churning and the words pumping out, all you really need is a start. You need to see something on the page, even if it’s just the word “I.” And from there, you write the first sentence. There is something so pure and simple about a single sentence. Especially if it is the first. It isn’t linked yet to any setting, or idea, it has no purpose but to begin the writing process.
“Sam and Alice walked home together each day, their hands only centimetres apart, but never touching.”
“The cat ran inside one morning, and Sasha gasped to see it missing half an ear.”
“Twenty days and twenty nights passed without coming across a single human being who spoke my language.”
“I am a horrible baker.”
All of these sentences can begin different stories. Just one of these sentences can begin many different stories. That’s the beauty of it. And from there, you create your tale. All you need is that first word.
Totally I found a little bit of time to write a couple more pages, bringing my count to 82. There are only a few weeks left in the ROW80 challenge, and I am so excited!