Have you ever had an idea and thought it would make a good story, but end up staring at a blank piece of paper or computer screen? Or don't even make it that far because you're paralyzed with the fear that you won't be able to properly translate to a page the thoughts in your head? One of the ideas that most helps me start writing was from a book called "Bird by Bird" by Anne Lamott, in which she says we have to give ourselves permission to write a "@#$%%* first draft" (loosely translated to "crappy first draft").
Ms. Lamott points out that every writer who sits down to type isn't in a euphoric state where words flow effortlessly onto the page. Most of us are full of self-doubt and fear, so it's important to just start typing and get something down. We can always go back and fix it later. In fact, a friend of hers put it this way, "...the first draft is the down draft. You just get it down. The second draft is the up draft -- you fix it up." So just get started! "Begin, the rest is easy." (That's what my mom used to tell me. I don't know where the original quote comes from.)
2 weeks ago