How #JSW Began

The #JustStartWriting mindset begins with a story…

It was the summer of 2016, mid-July. I had just graduated from college, and was doing all the things I said I wouldn’t do after I graduated college – living with my parents back home, working a not-really official job (it was official, but not what most people would think was official). I desired to put my passion of writing to work, but I didn’t know where or how. I was nervous and intimidated, and I didn’t want to put myself completely out there.

So, I put myself out there in the only way I felt most comfortable – on a blog.

I began a Tybee Island Profiles blog to get me interviewing people around the small island I was currently living on, because I loved to get to know people, and hear their stories. Through this, I was able to interview Jim Waller, a local author. During the interview, I asked him what advice he could give to aspiring writers, and his response was:

“Just start writing. Even if it doesn’t make any sense, just start writing. And it’ll come to you. What I usually do is, I know where I wanna go; I know what the end is gonna be. I have a vague idea of where to start. And it’s the middle that, once you start, it’ll fill itself in, and really, if you know where you’re going, and know where to start…if writing is really in your soul, it’ll come out on the page. And that’s the best kind.” – Jim Waller

Little did I know then how much of an impact his words would be to me, and how it would push me to start a one-month challenge in which I would blog every day. It would be the most consistent thing I’d ever done with my blog, and the most I’d written in a long time. I was really nervous at first; looking back, I remember thinking, How in the world am I going to provide content for one. entire. month? Who is going to want to read what I have to say, anyway? I don’t even think some of my own family members read my blog…

But I started. And it’s grown into something bigger than I could have imagined…

Growth and maturity on my blog. This website. A new mindset. A new way of looking at the culture of creatives, especially the culture of writers.

I know that being a writer (of anything – poems, short stories, essays, songs, blog posts, etc.) can be one of the following:

Scary. Intimidating. Difficult. Confusing. Frustrating.

And probably many other adjectives. But how else will you move past all of these feelings and emotions, and get pen to paper, or get those fingers running across your keyboard or iPhone screen, and produce something?

You never know until you actually start trying it. And I’m not saying that if you just start writing something, it will be exactly what you want it to be, or that it’ll be a perfect piece of writing. It’s inevitable that you’ll produce some pretty crappy writing at some point. But you could also write a piece that connects with more people than you thought it would. The more I write, the more I realize that writing something that’s a little rough around the edges is better than not writing at all.

It’s time to take the leap, to dive in.

It’s time to just start writing.