It always starts like this:
“Oh my god! So and so over there told me they heard that you wrote a book! What’s that? Get OUT! Several? Seriously, you have to tell me what your secret is. I’ve wanted to write a novel for the longest time, but it’s so daunting—30k words, 50k words, 70k! Ugh. How do you do it?”
You pause for a moment, sip that beer or wine spritzer or whiskey on the rocks or evil Designated Driver’s diet soda (damn you, other guy) and ask yourself: What in the hell do I say now?
Well, there’s always the truth, which sounds a bit like this:
“I write, and I write and I keep writing until I have enough content for a 1st draft. I try and practice the hell out of writing, so it doesn’t take so long the next time, and I’m not so sloppy on the next one, etc. And I keep doing that forever and ever, on into infinity. Learning and growing eternally. Amen.”
“No, no, no…that can’t be it. It sounds too simple.”
It sounds too simple?
Are you sh*tting me?
Well, no. NO. It’s really not. It’s not that simple at all. You have to stop making excuses, you have to force yourself to make the time to do it, and, most importantly you have to actually DO it. And that “doing it” part? It’s really stinking hard.
Fact is: Nobody comes to the table a prolific writer. At the beginning, you are the Vestal Virgin of novel making, for Book’s sake. You may not even know what to do to begin, and you certainly don’t know the down and dirty “Make Mama Want To Read” art of book-making, Sweet Cheeks.
Why? Because it comes with routine, and practice. It comes with feedback and humility. It comes with learning and revisions and at least a little bit of pain, my friend.
You cannot have content with writing.
You cannot have a decent novel without painstakingly edited content.
Ergo, you cannot have good writing without the learning curve and the pain.
— Do yourself a favor.
Get started and stick with it, Caligula.
Cross my heart and hope to buy your first best-seller, it’s the most rewarding thing you will ever do.
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