Let’s Start Here

When I started coaching Jerry on his writing, I taught him zero-drafting, and I gave the particular advice not to sweat the beginning too much. Writing is a body practice, I told him. The simple act of physically beginning to write will move you toward where you need to go. I said, "Just write, 'You have to begin somewhere, so let's start here,' or something, and see what follows."

When he handed me the first pages of his first zero draft, the first words were, "Let's start here." I laughed. Seeing them written out, I was struck by how delightfully inviting they are, and how incantatory as well. They move things forward.

You have to start somewhere.

Let's start here.

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