So you're ready to write. How exciting! This is where the fun begins, but beware. Life has a way of trying to stop you from completing your goals.
What to do:
- Write daily. Set a realistic goal and fight for it every day. Stephen King, for example, won't get up from his desk until 2,000 words have been written. I, personally, set different goals for each project, depending on what's going on in my life. All that really matters is that you set aside time five days a week to write your WIP. Do it.
- Get involved in some type of writing community - Twitter, Facebook, and/or NaNoWriMo. It really helps to have accountability partners with writing. It's a lonesome venture for the most part, but having others to vent with helps in keeping on track and not getting bogged down.
- Don't talk too much to other people about your work. I've learned this the hard way. Most likely, your friends and family won't understand all the heartache and difficulty in writing a novel. They'll think it's easy, or they'll set unrealistic goals for you. They'll ask to read it when you're done, and they will probably feel like sharing all they know (or don't know) about writing. Especially with your first novel, it's best to just keep it to yourself and maybe your immediate family (spouse, mom, dad, etc.) until you've edited. Then you may want to pick a handful of trustful people to serve as betas. (More on this next post.)
What you should expect:
- Writing is hard. There's nothing glamorous about staring at a computer screen for hours. Writers aren't sophisticated beings sipping coffee and typing to their hearts content like they make them out in the movies. They are gulping coffee in their pjs bleeding words onto a page.
- You will fight the urge to procrastinate. Everything will happen during your writing time to keep you from writing. Your husband will want to watch your favorite show, a kid will suddenly throw up on the rug, the dog will need a walk... or your mind will just want to rest. Don't. Give. In.
- You'll want to give up. Just before you meet the half way point in your novel, you'll probably struggle with throwing it out. Push through. This too shall pass.
- You'll feel inadequate- not good enough. Nothing you write will be as good as your favorite novelist. Ignore this. Take captive these deceptive thoughts and visualize flushing them down the toilet. No one will ever write like you. You're the best at what you do.
Go forth and write on, my friend!
Photo by Favim.