Write when you have to!
In the classic Hollywood western The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, Eli Wallach, one of Hollywood’s finest actors, plays the money hungry bandit “Tuco”. In one of the scenes, there is a one-armed man who wants to kill Tuco and has finally found him when he’s in his bath tub. The conversation proceeds something like this:
One Armed Man: I’ve been looking for you for eight months. Whenever I had a gun in my right hand, I thought of you. Now I find you in exactly the position that suits me. I had lots of time to learn to shoot with my left.
[Just then Tuco shoots him with the pistol he has hidden in the foam]
Tuco: When you have to shoot, shoot, don’t talk.
Writing is somewhat like that. When you wanna write, write, don’t talk! Writing is about doing. If you want to write, remember Nike. Don’t think. Don’t plan. Just do it!
Granted that when you stare at a blank page (or a blank screen), it can be intimidating. The only way to overcome this fear is to forget that you’re writing to be read. When you become independent of other people’s opinions, you will find it much easier to write.
Also remember not to set high standards in the beginning. All first drafts are supposed to be garbage…that includes first drafts of even the most celebrated and revered authors. So be gentle and allow yourself to write “ordinary” stuff.
In the beginning, what you write is not important…that you write something, anything, is!