If you have a story inside that you want to write down, it is easy to hesitate and to feel scared and so you push it to the future, and it never gets written. I think all writers go through moments of self doubt, I know I do. The story is perfect in your mind, but will it come out the way you intend it when you write it down? What if no one wants to read it, or thinks it’s garbage? All these thoughts may block us from having the courage to begin writing. Here are some helpful tips for getting started:
1. BEGIN. It sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? But the absolute hardest page to write is that first one, isn’t it? You may have the most intriguing story to tell, yet you sit there staring at a blank page, terrified. You do the dishes and clean the whole apartment just to avoid that haunting white page, right? The thing is, you know that’s just stupid. It’s all in your head. You may think of it as jumping off a cliff, but it’s not, so just do it. Once you start writing you will not be able to stop. You have a whole story to tell, remember, and it will come pouring out of you. Just start typing and forget about everything else.
2.EDIT later. Another thing that might hold you back is that you think your writing has to be perfect at once. It doesn’t. The important thing is to get the story down. It doesn’t matter if you think your words sound stupid or lame, ignore it and KEEP WRITING. There will be plenty of time to edit your text later, to re-write, to enhance, to cut parts out, to change the story even. You must not worry about that now, at all, or you will be overwhelmed and give up. Focus on getting the story down on paper and nothing else. A tip is to not write the story down in a chronological order. You are in charge, so write the parts you feel like writing today and other parts tomorrow. Just keep writing!
3. DON’T WAIT for the inspiration to come! Experienced writers know better than to wait for “the inspiration” to arrive. Don’t be fooled. Writing is hard work. If you have never written a full length novel before, or even a short story from start to finish, do not expect it to be a breeze. You’re not suddenly going to feel inspired and the writing will not be like a walk in the park. You will have to walk that park every day, for hours a day, for weeks to come, until it’s done. This may sound discouraging, but it is important not to get delusional and think this is easy. Hopefully you will have so much fun writing that you lose track of time and then you’ll ”be inspired” to write more. It is a decision you make.
4. KEEP OTHER WRITERS in your life. I find it very helpful to have other writers in my life, on social media as well as in real life. In that way you know you’re not alone out there, that there are others out there struggling just like you. To me that is both comforting and it gives me strength to keep writing. Don’t think of other writers as your competitors. Readers will always be looking for another book after they have finished one, so support your fellow writers. I actively do so, for instance by retweeting other writers’ book promos on twitter, whether they are in my genre or not. Spread the love and it will come back to you.