Alex Noble: Even to sit quietly in front of an open journal, with pen or pencil in hand, and experience that sacred space of stillness and listening, can open new worlds in consciousness if you are fully present. . This is one of the reasons I love Haiku poetry, where we capture a moment of current reality and document it in focused awareness. A journal entry might be just one word, or two. The point is to connect with your Muse, your Inner Thinker and Writer. Just one word, if it is the right word, can shift your perception and your life. So know that this time of consecrated stillness is not empty. It holds your whole life, all your dreams, all your experience, all your innate magic. Start small. One word a day. And then see where that word leads you. Surprise yourself!
If you are writing a story, start with just a few sentences that summarize your plot and answer the classic question: "Who wants to do what and why can't they?" Then, write a full paragraph. Then, half a page. Then, a one page summary. Annie Lamott tells this story:
I also remember a story that I know I’ve told elsewhere but that over and over helps me to get a grip: thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on bird written that he’d had three months to write, which was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, “Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.”