This post is dedicated to the aspiring author who frets with the discipline of writing their first novel. This is not about the creative aspect, plot, theme, etc. This is solely aimed at the discipline of putting thought to paper. First thing is first: Take a deep breath…exhale. Still with me? Excellent!
There is one notion I express to all aspiring authors I talk to: There is a story within all of us. Granted, having it come to life can be a little tricky, but the emphasis in this post is focused on DOING!
What is DOING? Sitting down and committing yourself to putting thoughts on paper. Debate continues in regards to how many words you need to write per day. So-called experts proclaim a minimum of 1000, others more, and some express less. By the Gods…don’t concern yourself with a number. The important issue is just sitting down and creating a pace that’s comfortable for you. Obviously, the amount you write on any given day will differ, and that’s perfectly okay. The victory is building a routine that keeps you consistently in front of your notebook, laptop, typewriter, or 3-ring binder on a daily basis. If you’re just beginning, start small…and don’t punish yourself if you fall short of a preestablished goal. Just pick it up the following day and move forward.
In my case, the daily writing regiment is all over the board. Some days I exclusively write. On other days I only edit or do a combination of editing and writing. Hell, sometimes I say screw it, and turn on the X-box.
One recommendation I have, which may buck many voiced opinions is this: From time to time, hop from one project to another. This has a tendency to keep things fresh when you revisit each piece of work. While writing my novel, Shadows of Kings, I was hopping between future novels in the series. This kept my creative juices flowing and ensured I didn’t make any continuity errors with the saga. I call myself a four-booker: I’m generally working on four pieces of work at a time with one being the primary project.
Just keep at it…you’re doing great!
With that said, I leave you with this quote from Calvin Coolidge:
“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”