Writing a novel can seem like a daunting process, and tackling first drafts are hard to do without getting overwhelmed. Taking small, deliberate steps can help with the writing process, in addition to these 4 tips.
- Get Through the First Page…
“The first step toward getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.” –John Pierpont Morgan
Frequently called the “blank page hurdle,” starting a first draft is one of the most difficult parts of the writing process. Write something, anything, to get you through the first page of your manuscript, because you can always come back later and change it. It can also be helpful to check out resources for creative ways to start the novel.
- …Then Write One Page at a Time
“Never discourage anyone who continually makes progress, no matter how small.” –Plato
Once you’ve gotten over the initial hurdle, continue to make slow and steady progress, one small goal at a time. It can be helpful to write in a steady stream of consciousness, ignoring grammar, spelling and punctuation; you’ll be editing it later.
- Throw Your Fears Away
“Do one thing every day that scares you.” –Eleanor Roosevelt
First drafts are the hardest because you’re working in uncharted territory. Try not to get caught up in self-conscious thoughts, negative self-talk or allow others to get you down. Plowing through first drafts requires courage and bravery; push yourself to stop being afraid of what others may think.
- Allow Yourself to Fail
“I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.” –Thomas Edison
Bestselling books aren’t written overnight; the authors have read, edited and rewritten a manuscript countless times before the novel heads to print. Knowing you aren’t penning the final draft the first time lets you experiment and go outside your comfort zone to challenge your writing. Failure lets you find ways that don’t work and ways that do; you never know unless you try.
Approaching your first drafts slowly and steadily, banishing fears about writing and allowing yourself to fail can all help you finish your initial manuscript so you can move on to editing and publishing. For more writing tips, read additional articles today!