Everyone has to start writing somewhere, somehow

We asked our Start to Write course leaders about the moment they knew they had to start to write and what stood in their way.

From Lauren Aimee Curtis who will teach Start to Write: Fiction in Sydney:

Both of my novels began with a sentence. By this I mean that there was something about those specific sentences – the feeling of a voice developing, an image, a character, a tone – that made it possible for the rest to follow. Before that, there was a period of thinking, reading, imagining, researching. There were other sentences that did not stick.

The process of writing fiction can often feel mysterious. Some sentences are false starts. Others contain the world of the book in them. 

From Harrison Christian who will teach Start to Write: Nonfiction online:

I always knew I had to write. Writing books, though, that came much later. I worked as a reporter for years, so my writing itch was being scratched to a certain extent, but I didn’t think myself capable of doing a book until I started working on a story that just kept getting longer. 

The great challenge in writing a book is training yourself to only focus on that day’s progress. If you zoom out in perspective too much you’ll be overwhelmed. The important question should always be, did I reach today’s word count? And if the answer is yes, you can rest easy! The book will write itself.

From Kristina Olsson who will teach Start to Write: Fiction in Brisbane:

There were the afternoons as a ten-year-old in my big Brisbane backyard, with paper and pencil, describing the sky. Those moments told me I had to write. They led me to a discovery, twenty years later, when the voice of my first novel came to me. A character, a setting. I couldn’t not write them.

The challenges were plenty, mainly my journalism career, my children, and fear — before I realised I couldn’t not write. Writing had chosen me, not the other way around. It was my Pied Piper moment, and I followed the piper.

From Miles Allinson who will teach Start to Write: Fiction in Melbourne:

I think I’ve always wanted to write, at least since I was a teenager.  I wanted to do other things too. But one by one those other things fell away and writing was what I was left with.  At that point, it became more important to me.  There’s writing like jogging and then there’s writing like someone’s chasing you. 

Maybe the first challenge was clearing the way. Maybe it was burning all my bridges or using up all my other good cards. Writing still feels like my last good card. I’m not a gambler but I can understand why someone would be. There’s something holy about the law of chance.  


Patti Miller will teach Start to Write: Memoir and Nonfiction in Sydney