Start Small: Moving From Notebook to Story

Susan Jackson Rogers

In the latest Glimmer Train bulletin, Susan Jackson Rogers has written a brief essay on the writing life: “Closing the Gap: Moving from Notebook to Story.” She discusses how stories get their beginnings and gain traction:

Each time, I have to remember: Start small. Why doesn’t “starting small” feel like real writing? Really, there isn’t any other way to start. … It’s embarrassing to admit how long it’s taken me to realize that the whole trick is this: close the gap between notes and draft. At the beginning of a writing session, if I don’t know where to start, I go to the notes, and transfer the useful ones to the proper place in the draft I’m working on. …  I used to think, “but this isn’t real writing” (by which I meant that euphoric seven-longhand-pages-in-one-sitting kind of writing). Now I wonder what that could possibly mean. I am writing. That’s as real as writing gets.

Read the entire essay over at Glimmer Train.

Also in the latest Glimmer Train bulletin:


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Jane Friedman (@JaneFriedman) has more than 15 years of experience in the book and magazine publishing industry, with expertise in digital media and the future of authorship. She speaks around the world at events such as BookExpo America, Frankfurt Book Fair, and Digital Book World, and has keynoted writing conferences such as The Muse & The Marketplace. She currently teaches digital media and publishing at the University of Virginia. Find out more.
Posted in Creativity + Inspiration.

3 Comments

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  2. I don’t close the gap because I didn’t know there was one. As long as we’re writing does it matter if the words are notes, drafts, memos or edits?

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