A Writer's Thriving Guide: 3 Tips on The Art of Scribbling

A bunch of story-starter lines, showing a writer starting different pieces.

Over the years I've had the pleasure, thrill and joy of working with bold, creative people who want to write. They either call themselves writers and want to kick away stumbling blocks and complete projects, kiss away demons, dispel "can't-do" myths. Or, they are people who don't call themselves "writers" but they want to write. For some it's starting a blog; it can be pouring their experience and professional expertise into a book. Or, it can be finding greater ease with their writing--to connect more genuinely and fruitfully with people.

I started a document for my coaching clients last winter. It has about 30 tips and takes on the Art of Scribbling, and I called it the Writer's Thriving Guide. It lives happily like a bear in winter inside my MacBook Air. If I wait for some form of grand completion, this bear won't ever come out of its cave. So here I am practicing a couple of things: Releasing, rather than completing. And not being perfect (not that I have a perfection thing)--but sometimes perfectionism lies in waiting for the perfect MOMENT. That could be mine.

However you might identify: as a Writer; as a person who Writes, or a person who wants to Write but doesn't know how to start--here are three Get-Started-Get Writing motivators for you. In essence, two tips and one reminder of why Writing is one of the coolest caps in the world to wear. 

May you float your creative wanderings over your city sky and have a good time doing it!

"Over the Town," M. Chagall

"Over the Town," M. Chagall


1.  WRITING IS THE CHEAPEST TICKET AROUND.  You will travel to new worlds filled with surprises, discoveries and adventures. You will learn about yourself. Even if you’re writing about your life or “what you know,” there are the twists and turns of unexpected connections; you will wander into wild-blossoming storylines and the wonder-shock of your own creative possession. Look at your sprawling imagination go! Look at that creative genius expressing itself, letting its bold wings out and out—all from you, from YOU (OK, and a Muse or two).

For more on Muses and creativity: Watch Elizabeth Gilbert’s juicy-as-hell TEDtalk, Your Elusive Creative Genius

2.   MAKE THINGS UP, especially if you’re new to a writing life and stepping into discovering your voice. Be like a kid and tell a tale. Really flex that imagination. The taller the better! Writing fiction frees you from yourself, gives you objective distance from facts and reason. Play, experiment and see what happens.

Try: Write a story from a painting—like this one. Go with a good-old-fashion starter,  “Once upon a time …” and see what images tumble out. Write about a recent event, then insert a fictional element: a talking bear; a celebrity friendship; transport your event to Saturn; 1889; the future.

"Study for the Painting Rain," Marc Chagall

"Study for the Painting Rain," Marc Chagall

3. COPY IMITATE STEAL. COPY IMITATE STEAL. Find pieces of writing you like and use them as training wheels or scaffolding: Copy a passage word for word to see what it feels like. Write your version of the paragraph or poem, crawl inside of it, line for line. This is the best mentorship around when you’re on your own and craving a jump start. Don’t worry about “sounding like someone else.” There is no escaping yourself. You can only grow into your authentic voice the more you write.

Example: I loved Lynn Emanuel’s poem “Homage to Sharon Stone” so much that I wrote my own version, “Homage to Alec Baldwin.”

And, try this: Here’s a link to great novel opening paragraphs to play with. Start with the first sentence, for example, the opening of On the Road:  “I first met Dean not long after my wife and I split up.” This could be a parallel story: “I first met my half-brother three days after I left home.” Or, the opposite: “I last saw Dorothy years ago, before I got married, when I was still a whole person.”

I have more Scribbling Tips and Tricks, but these three will get you started writing, and eventually releasing your words into the world. 

If you want to talk to me about releasing your work into the world, email me! I love hearing from people and talking about life, writing, that which could be in one's life if we believed more strongly in the Possibility of Things. I also offer free discovery coaching conversations, if you'd like see what coaching is like. Contact me at Tatyana@everydaycreative.net.

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Tatyana Sussex

Tatyana is a coach and writer who works with professionals and creatives to love the work they do. She specializes in messaging coaching, supporting solopreneurs, entrepreneurs and small businesses get their voice into the world in the most natural way possible. She also loves coaching the next generation—teenagers—to help prepare them for a thrilling and thriving entrance to college and adulthood.