Spark The Fire – #11 (Un)Common Writing Strategies

By- Tom Kubrak

You have something within you that you are burning to get out…the only problem is, every time you start, you can’t seem to find the right words…

SHHHEEK…SHEEEEK…SHEEEKKK (the sound of a flint striking a rock) SHHEEEK (a spark flys..but it misses its target).

You try again.

The pile of dried grass, branches and other things in the woods, that you’ve spent a half hour collecting and setting up, is waiting to catch fire.

SHHHEEK..SHEEEEK…SHHHHEEEKKK– it misses again. You’re beginning to get frustrated- on the verge of giving up. You’re outside in the middle of the woods- the temperatures dropping- and you need to get warm quickly or you’re going to be freezing tonight. But, you’ve forgotten how to set up the twigs and strike the flint properly to ignite the fire you desire.

In writing it takes a lot of time and practice to create that big piece that you’ve wanted to write for months. Whether it’s a book, article, play or screenplay; some writers just don’t even know where to start. If they do know where to start, they can’t seem to find the daily discipline required to “Spark the Fire” again and again and again…


For me, I start the day with a “Morning Story” accompanied by a few minutes of journaling. This story can be on just about anything too. I usually find a word, person or place in the dictionary as the title and topic of this story. 

These stories, usually after a few minutes of research, take between 5-15 minutes max(I set a timer for these stories too, so I don’t get caught up in it). I also try to post this story on my Instagram Story, as a sort of accountability mechanism. It also allows me to show my followers a little more of my style of writing, since they can’t read a novel by me yet.

Here’s an example of one of those, one page morning stories. As you can see, there’s errors all over the place. That’s not the point though. The point is…The Story and getting words on the paper.


I use the dictionary as a discovery tool and learning mechanism when I just want to find new words and things that I haven’t used in my writing yet. This is another way if you to “Spark the Fire” by just reading the dictionary if you can’t find yourself able to write that one page story.

If I’m stuck on a part in a story sometimes I just pull out the dictionary and start digging.


Well, like most things, if you believe it’s important- do it. In this case, I believe it an essential part to my writing process. The story, although small, and usually irrelevant to my other larger projects that I’m working on at the time, allows me to each day start getting into the writing mindset without overthinking anything. 

I believe this is what “sparks” each writing day for me. Which now, at the date of this posting, I am at 5 days a week writing.

Before “The Morning Story”

I found myself getting into other non-writing related projects and activities when I should’ve been writing. When I start the day off with a one-page-short-story it makes me focus on what I need to do. And that is…

…to write.

How do you start each writing day? Do you have a personal strategy that you use to “Spark” your process? Or are you able to jump right into it?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments or shoot me an email!

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” -Lao Tzu

By- Tom Kubrak


IG & TWTR @tomkubrak

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