Begin where you are

By JCrawford Uncategorized 4 Comments on Begin where you are

I’m James Crawford, a new contributor to Newbie Writers. I thought I’d put up a post to introduce myself and give you a feel for the sorts of  things that could show up with my name on them.

A little over a year ago, I self published my first novel, Blood-soaked and Contagious through Smashwords and Amazon. Some interesting events transpired, and I found myself in a position to learn a lot about the pitfalls of e-publishing and the power of social media. It was a hard lesson, and I’d be very happy if no one had to go through it after me, but the cards are not stacked in our favor.

My first words of advice to you are the same as the title of this post. As a writer, aspiring or established: begin where you are. Pick up the pen, keyboard, smartphone, or sharpened stick, and write. Inspiration is all around you.

Don’t know where to start? Look down at your feet. Write about what you see, whether it is your toes, carpet, tile, or sand. Add details so any random person reading it will be able to feel and see what you are feeling and seeing. Once you’ve written it, share it.

This is the essence of what we do when we write: we communicate an experience.

Begin where you are, every day, regardless of your genre preference. Why? You might find a turn of phrase in writing about your ingrown toenail that needs to show up in the dark fantasy story you started three weeks ago. Everything you write has the potential to contribute something to projects you’ve already begun. It also has the potential to spin off something entirely new. (Suddenly, you’ve got the genesis for a hot romance about toe fetishists, for example.)

There you go!

I’m really happy to be here, and look forward to stirring up some trouble with you.

-James Crawford



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  • My first post on Newbie Writers | James Crawford's Writing Blog
    Posted on June 12, 2012 at 11:07 pm

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  • Jane Isaac
    Posted on June 13, 2012 at 1:55 am

    Hi James!
    Great post and brilliant advice for all of us, newbies. Best of luck with your novel.

  • Dave R
    Posted on June 14, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    This is great advice. If you have the impluse it’s worth following up on. I started my adventure with the National Novel Writing Month last November. I am now editting a novel. Action took a dream and is making it come true. Plus I now know a lot more about astronomy, science and writing than I did a year ago. There are tough days to stay motivated, but even the editing is a blast. Beta readers think of things that I never thought of, and it’s making my writing so much better. Thanks for sharing.

  • Dave R
    Posted on June 14, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    If you are curious about National Novel Wrtiing Month, I mean to include a link ( It’s free and it really can get you kick started. You only need a small idea to start. I started with the idea “What if aliens moved on to Mars and then asked to borrow a cup of sugar?”

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