Anything will do except to sit down and write. When you write, you’re exposing yourself, not only what you think but your talent and skill level. It can be frightening.
Nellie Bly, at age 14, read an article in the Pittsburgh Dispatch newspaper entitled, “What Girls Are Good For.” The article claimed women should be having babies and keeping a house. She became incensed and fired off an anonymous letter to the editor refuting the article’s claims.
The editor was so impressed that he challenged the writer to show herself. She went to his office, and he asked her to write something more. Her first article was how divorce affected women. She had seen the difficulty when her mother divorced her second husband, a drunk and wife abuser.
The editor offered her a full-time job. Nellie went on to report about the conditions of women working in factories, which gained reader popularity. Soon factory owners, who bought ads in the newspaper, complained to the editor. She was transferred to writing a “women’s column” about fashion and gardening.
She quit her job and went to Mexico, reporting on life under the dictator Porfirio Diaz. When threatened with arrest, she returned to the Pittsburgh Dispatch. She was offered a job writing about the arts.
She didn’t want that. She moved to New York in 1887 to try her luck, and ultimately convinced Joseph Pulitzer of the New York World to hire her for investigative reporting.
Nellie insisted on writing about what concerned her. After a brief delay, I get to my writing too.