Start by Writing the Very First Word

Can you remember the first time you picked up a pencil or other writing instrument and wrote your first real word? I mean really remember, not simply basking in the glory of stories told by proud parents.

My first word is etched on my mind. I held a large white piece of white chalk in my hand to scrawl the letters MUM on the concrete path in our back yard.

“Mum! Mum!” I called as I dragged her from whatever she was doing inside.  “I can write.”

A few days later I started school.  I’d been told I’d learn to write even more words and bubbled over with excitement.  I wanted to fill my page with words like those in my story books. My teachers taught me to form letters and words, to leave finger spaces and to remember to include capital letters and fullstops. My skills progressed steadily until I could put a few sentences together and call what I’d written a story.

Some of you will have similar memories, starting with chalk on a blackboard, or on the path as in my case, progressing to pencil, followed by pen and ink.

Nib pens, ink blots and blotters to mop up the spills are no longer part of children’s school life. Many write their first word using a keyboard instead of chalk. But all written stories need to start somewhere.

All stories start with a single word, followed by another and another. Without the first word the story will remain untold. Every writer needs encouragement to write that very first word. Is today the day when you write yours?

A Writer’s First Written Word

In Search of Good Sentences

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