Many people have ideas for stories or want to write a novel. Most of those people never will.
I was one of those people. I had ideas but it was always too hard and would take too long. I’d do it sometime in the future.
Finally, I realized I would never do it unless I just sat down and did it. That’s just what I did in February of 2016.
Without any preconceived notions or worrying if it would be perfect or wondering if anyone would buy it, I started writing. By the end of the weekend I had written almost 15,000 words!
It was a fantastic start. If I did that every weekend for a month I would have a 60,000 word novel done. So why didn’t I do that?
Good question. Like most people life happened. Other things took my focus. I started telling myself that it sucked. Etc etc. I did finally finish the book and sent it to an editor. It was over a month before I got it back and then I couldn’t look at what the editor said right away.
When I did look at it I got what you’d expect. A lot of notes to point out to the newbie author where the writing and the story were less than par. Not the great American Novel I had hoped for. After reading over the editor’s notes I agreed with almost everything and could see the weaknesses in the story.
What did I do? I ripped out about half of the book. Stuff that really did stink. Leaving some good writing. What about the writing I did the initial weekend, how did that fare.
Actually, I kept most of it. It wasn’t bad. When I didn’t care how things went or how things sounded, I wrote pretty good. What made the writing take longer was I started actually trying and thinking about it.
There’s the lesson. We can be much better writer’s when we don’t worry about our writing. We get so caught up in our hopes and desires and we want it to be perfect that we actually are less perfect than we would be if we didn’t care about any of that.