No page is harder to fill than the first. That blank page looms so much larger than the ones that follow. But, as the very wise Natalie Goldberg tells us, "if you give your mind too much time to contemplate a beginning when you sit down to write, your monkey mind might meander over many topics and never quite get to putting a word on the page." To combat this, she suggests dedicating a page in your notebook (or a file on your computer, for all you who reject the pencil) to ideas, topics, jumping off points. Grab anything small or large that comes to you and save it there for later. Until you're able to compile your own list, she offers you this to get things going:
"Visualize a place that you really love, be there, see the details. Now write about it. It could be a corner of your bedroom, an old tree you sat under one whole summer, a table at McDonald's* in your neighborhood, a place by a river. What colors are there, sounds, smells? When someone else reads it, she should know what it is like to be there. she should feel how you love it, not by your saying you love it, but by your handling of the details."
--Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within (Shambhala, 2005)