If there’s one tip that has been most important to me since I started, it’s this: don’t stop. I mean, it goes without saying. If you want to write a story, novel, book of whatever description, you need to keep going until it’s done. Makes plenty of sense.
But the point I took from this wasn’t just to not stop writing, it was more that you’re book isn’t written till it’s written. And what I mean by that is…
New writers will lack confidence to keep going, especially at the start. They’ll want people to check their first line, their first paragraph, their first chapter… and then they’ll want someone to do the same for the second. They’ll ant to know if it’s good; if the story makes sense; if the characters are right; if the dialogue sounds normal… and so on and so forth, ad infinitum. They may even feel the need to come up with a title, and the lack of ideas — or to be clear, the lack of good or acceptable ideas — will delay the writing further.
And the thing is? None of this matters. Your story is… probably not amazing just yet. And it doesn’t matter. But what does matter is that your story needs to be told. You need to get it out of you and down on digital paper, and then you can get started on two things:
- making it good, AND
- making it better
You can worry about whether or not your book is any good once it’s finished. If you want to do it right, you’re going to need to edit your book several times. Ask every writer how much editing they do — it doesn’t matter if they are new like you, or a bestseller — they’ll all say the same thing… uhhh… a lot. You may think you’re the best writer ever, but… odds are you’re not. I’m certainly not. But I’ve just finished my third full edit, and I can tell you right now — the book I’ve got now is a hell of a lot better than it was after my first draft. And even better? My next step is to hand it over to a professional editor. To edit it even more.
And I’m very happy about that.
But… the only thing that got me to where I am now was that never-stoppingness. And trust me – I tried to hijack my progress on several occasions.
So… my number one tip: Don’t. Stop. Until. It’s done.