Starting a story could well be the most difficult part of the creative writing process of all. A blank page can be terrifying in its openness; words feverishly penned at 4am in a seeming revelation can result in the writer's equivalent to morning-after remorse.
When I set about writing my first blog post, I had a strange impulse to begin as my English teachers told me I should never, under any circumstances, open a story. "Hi, my name is Sarah", "Hey, kids, you wanna hear a story?", or perhaps even "It was a dark and stormy night" - you know - to set the scene.
But then, I realised that many of those techniques are actually just delaying tactics. But every writer does it. We're creative like that - at engineering ways to avoid thinking creatively. And, after an afternoon spent alphabetising my bookshelves, fathoming the mysteries of folding a fitted bedsheet, and combing nefarious Mario levels for every last elusive star coin, it has become apparent that I've managed to elevate the practice of procrastination to something of a fine art form.
I think sometimes the pressure to create, or to be original, can scupper you before you've even begun. The other day, I read something C.S. Lewis wrote: "if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it". Right on, C.S.
And therein lies one of the primary reasons we started this collaborative creative blog project. To express ourselves, and, in the process, maybe flex that writing muscle a little.