Can I be honest?
[whispers] Most of the time I don’t have a damn clue what I’m doing with this blog.
When I first started writing these posts, I wouldn’t plan at all (and I usually plan everything); I’d just open up a blank blog post document, start writing, read it over quickly, then post before I lost my nerve. While I don’t really recommend this off-the-cuff-writing-and-then-not-editing strategy, I have to say, it kinda…worked for me, at least at the beginning. I was waaaay too in my head, stressing about what to write and how to say it, and just blurting it all out on the page and posting immediately helped to alleviate the anxiety of the whole blogging process.
As for the content, hopefully these posts are getting stronger as I write more and get a better sense of what people want and how they respond to my posts. I'm not trying to be a writer myself, but I’m just going to keep showing up and putting out information that will help people as they write, edit, and publish their books.
Moral of the story?
Just show up – whether it’s on your website writing blog posts or in front of your computer banging out words on your manuscript – and start.
That, my friends, is how you become a writer.
This early writing isn’t going to necessarily be the stuff that makes you a best-selling author. In fact, you might want to chuck or at the very least re-write this early stuff. But it’s valuable work nonetheless and will set you on that road to being a best-selling author by giving you crucial writing experience, teaching to understand the rhythms of the story and how to put all the elements of a story together, and sharpening your skills as you grow as a writer.
Joanna Penn, author and self-publishing guru, says “you actually have to be moving in order to change direction.” Even if you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re not going to get to where you want to be unless you start trying to get there.
A friend of mine who’s writing her first novel was saying that she had heard that all first novels basically get thrown in the fire and never see the light of day. I don’t know if that’s necessarily true, but I know for certain that every single one of those brilliant debut novels that you read about did not pop out of the author’s head fully formed and perfectly written. They were crafted from hard work, countless drafts, and the writer just sitting down and starting.
So, start sketching out that story that’s been in your head forever. Pull out that old manuscript you put away because you weren’t “good enough” yet and start editing. Figure out what you’ll need to do to start on your path to becoming a published author. Just start.
If I can help you on your way - with a manuscript evaluation or editing - let me know!