Hermyne Khaling

If you’re an aspiring writer, you might have some questions about where to start your story, how to start writing, and what to write about. These are questions that can cause even the greatest writers to second-guess themselves. The good news is: all you need is a smartphone and an internet connection to join an online writing community.

I’ve been reading, writing, and even earning money online since 2016, and it has helped me learn and grow as a person and a writer. If you’re struggling to find inspiration, it helps if you are mindful of your surroundings. Inspiration is everywhere and in everything. Nothing is too insignificant. Every moment, every detail – however simple or ordinary it may seem – can reward you with a wonderful story idea. As I always say, “Even the frills of your grandma’s petticoat could be your inspiration.”

There are a few questions I usually ask myself before I go ahead with writing a story: Why am I writing this story? What do I love about this story? What is the message that I want to send? If I have the answer to these questions, I consider half the work done. Then, I plot my stories by referring to these answers as guiding plot points.

If you’re afraid of starting, you’re not alone. The terror of the white page is real. We overthink, we analyse, we question, we are afraid of all that could go wrong, we are hell-bent on getting things right the first time, but the first job of a writer is to write. It’s not about achieving perfection in the first draft itself. There are no set of rules to achieve perfection anyway. Every writer is different and we set our own standards.

What’s important is that we write. If you’re a writer, you have to put words on blank pages at one point, otherwise, it makes no sense. Errors are not to be feared. We can always learn from our blunders and edit our errors, take the story wherever we want. Writers are explorers and adventurers. We learn and grow as we explore further. Write them all! Then, dust and polish your craft whenever you can.

When I wrote my first book, Silhouette, I did not sign up to write a masterpiece. I exposed myself to the community to learn and better my craft. If I had not pushed myself to pen that first word and share it, it would have taken me years to learn what I know now. The community gives back so much. And, I know that I have yet to learn more, that I have space to improve, which is great because exploring and finding new treasures is always rewarding.

So, if you’re an aspiring writer and you’re longing to start an adventure of your own, you can do it now! It’s not at all a far-fetched dream anymore. Write it off. Write it all.

(The writer is based out of Manipur)