Thinking about writing your first novel can take years of wasted moments. Don’t make the same mistake with starting! To paraphrase the famous Wayne W. Dyer quote, “Don’t die with your novel still inside of you”. Let’s make 2020 the year you start AND finish your novel.
How to start.
1. Get help from those who are more experienced.
- You can do this in a number of ways: working with a professional writing coach such as myself and through books on the writing craft.
2. Attend writing workshops, conferences, and retreats.
- These are fantastic places to receive inspiration, network, and learn the craft of writing. I will be attending a special writing retreat later this year. So keep an eye out for my future blog on the benefits.
3. Gather your tools.
- Like any artist, you need tools. It can be as simple as a notepad and pen or as elaborate as three computer monitors for each stage of your process. Find what works and use it. If you have no tools, you won’t start.
4. Schedule time.
- One of the most common excuses I hear is that a person “doesn’t have time” to write. So make it! Literally write the time into your diary or calendar. And, make it clear to those around you understand that you are NOT to be interrupted. This part is important. You will be interrupted, and you will need to be firm in sending them away (as a mother, I understand how hard this can be. More on that in an upcoming blog post!).
- This is the most obvious yet overlooked part of the process. At some point, you have to sit and put words down. Everyone approaches this step in their own way. Feel free to play and experiment with plotting or pantsting (writing without a formal plan). But get your first draft down as quickly as you can. This will make you feel like you have achieved something important (which, of course, you have!).
Next month, I’ll be giving some handy tips on how to FINISH your novel, so make sure you check back!
Is there anything else you can think of to add? Please share in the comments.
Yours in writing and editing,
A.K. Leigh xo
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