Over the years of teaching, I have collected anonymous questions from my students during the first night of class. You might relate to some of their concerns. I hope my responses are helpful.

Q: How do I get over feeling too stupid to write? Who would care?

A:  You have to make your desire to write stronger than your uncomfortable feelings. Wanting to create something carries more weight than what the outcome may be. If you care about what you want to say with your writing, others are likely going to care about it, too.  

Q: Should I start with an outline?

A: You can, if that step appeals to you. It’s not required. It can help to simply list your ideas. Or the sequence of a story. How you approach the process of writing is individual. Do it your way. And then try different ways. The important part is to write. 

Q:  Do you always start at the beginning of the story?

A:  Not necessarily. You can start with just a scene you’ve thought of. Or write the ending first. Starting your project matters most. Pick some part of it and get going! The rest will follow. 

Q: How long before you are not embarrassed about writing?

A:  How long? I can’t answer that. It’s individual. But I can say, the sooner you start writing, and keep writing, you’ll likely become more comfortable. Maybe looking at your ambition differently would help: It’s good to try something new, something that challenges you. You don’t have to be good at it when you’re starting out. Allow yourself time (days? months? years?) to study and to practice writing.