27 March

Why Does It Feel So Hard To Start Writing?


A new writer messaged me, "But why does it feel so hard to start?" in referencing beginning one's first book. I wrote to this person, thus:
It's difficult because in your own mind you've not yet cemented your message - what you want to convey in this book. 
Writing a book is NOT about sitting down at a pad of paper or a keyboard and typing words. It's about conveying an idea to the reader. You will never be able to do that until you KNOW that idea for yourself. 
"Pantsers" who type, unaware of what they're typing, can tell a vague story, BUT that story will have umpteen edits post initial draft. 
They will go off course.
They will write themselves into plot corners.
They will have numerous inconsistencies exs. character details/depth, motivation.
Tension will be lacking or off. Etc., etc., etc.
And often, in the end, they will become frustrated with all the manuscript errors and simply give up, the MS never becoming a finished book.
If you want a finished book with very few edits post initial draft, you need to follow certain steps. That's a fact.
Filling out scene cards will help you in this challenge.
HOMEWORK: Start filling out scene cards — each blank recipe card describing in a few sentences the essence/goal of the scene, and complete the Log Line — a single sentence boiling down the essence of your book. Until you can complete your Log Line and recite it off the cuff, naturally, to anyone who asks, you do not know the essence of your book; hence, you will not be able to write what you do not know.
I invite ALL of you here to do the homework, if you've not yet crafted your book outline or know your Log Line. 
Trust me on this process. 
You do the steps, and you WILL complete your book, but you have to do the work. 
Writing a book is NOT a romantic notion. It's work. Do the work, and your book will get written. Sit down, all giddy with excitement, with a scarf wrapped around your neck, blowing in the breeze - and a vacant mind on top of that neck - and you will not finish your book.
One step at a time. Follow my steps. 
Let's get your book written!

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