Writing the beginning of a story makes me more anxious than any other part. For one thing, it’s my only chance to grab the reader’s attention. Many slush readers decide on the first page whether they’ll pass on a story. Some say the first paragraph or even the first line. No pressure!
Short story and flash fiction writing have been great practice for me in learning to discover the true “inciting incident” that sets everything rolling. I like to start with a bang or a laugh and try to pique the reader’s curiosity.
I know I’m not alone. The beginning is a huge sticking point for many writers. I’d advise others to just write whatever to start with, and then keep in mind that later, it will probably be changed or may even fall to the cutting room floor. I find it helps take pressure off so I can get a story out. Then I’ll only have the smaller problem of fixing the opening at the end, rather than having a blank page while dithering over the perfect beginning.