I open a new Word document and stare at the page, hoping some idea will strike and I'll start to write.
I do that a lot, and I think a lot of writers do too. Whether it's an essay for that American lit class or a blog post or an article for Odyssey, I find myself staring at a blank page a lot of the time. The hardest part for me is coming up with a good idea.
I think that partly, we edit ourselves a lot and this causes us to dismiss ideas in our heads before we even get them on the page. And the other part of the time, at least for me, perfectionism can get in the way. I want my story or essay to be the absolute best it can possibly be, otherwise it's not worth anything. But perhaps we just need to see things differently.
I aim to approach writing in a less critical way. Because how can I expect an idea to be perfect just on the first try? We have to remind ourselves that the editing process is crucial to shaping a good start into an engaging story, essay, poem, etc. I think you'll find, as I have, that ideas come more willingly on days where you decide to limit your inner critic.
Another approach I want to take with writing is to stop the comparisons. It's really easy to read a great short story or book or poem and think that your own writing doesn't compare. But if you focus on a more positive mindset and only think about your own progress, you'll find yourself in a much better headspace to read, write, and just be creative. And, even though it's a little cheesy, telling ourselves that we are good writers and instinctive storytellers really helps to make us believe it.
So I challenge you (and myself) to think differently when writing, especially if you tend to be critical of your own work and feel like you get stuck when thinking of new ideas.