When you’re reading writing tips, advice or other writer’s experiences keep in mind that what works for them may not work for you. .There isn’t any one size fits all, we’re all different.
There isn’t a formula to getting to getting your story out of your head and onto a page. How you choose to do it is unique to you. Don’t beat yourself up if you find out that a method that worked for a bestselling novelist doesn’t work for you.
Some people will say: ‘if you write one page a day, you’ll have a novel by the end of the year.’ This simply isn’t true for some of us. Yes, you may have 365 pages by the end of the year, but those pages may come at the risk of your mental, physical, and/or spiritual health. At the end of the year you still may not be finished with your novel. You might feel like a failure because your were so caught up in the ‘‘I have to write one page’ mantra that you began to hate the very essence of writing. You’ll have wasted an entire year writing something you felt obligated to write.
Detailed outlining and plotting before you begin to write is not the only way. I can speak of many times when I started a story or a book with a simple idea (for e.g. PROJECT Lemonade. I started with the question: what if you threw lemons back at life.) and a prayer. I don’t always plot. I don’t always know who my story is about or where my story is going.
Some people say that writing is best in the morning or early afternoon when your mind is fresh. Maybe that works for you, maybe it doesn’t. Don’t force yourself to write in the morning or early afternoon because that’s what works for some New York’s Bestselling Novelist. That New York’s Bestselling Novelist is not you. I’ve found I write better at night because the barriers that hold me back in the day are loose.
Let me speak some simple truths:
You are not obligated to write for anyone other than yourself.
You do not have to share your story with anyone.
Your style is yours. It’s completely fine to not have a template that you’re following.
Make something up as you go along. Keep writing, you will figure it out.
Every person is different. It’s OK to take time to discover how you like to write and it’s OK if how you write your first draft is different than what someone tells you it should be.
The road to success is paved with perseverance, caffeine (or sugar… whatever your crutch.), and a couple oceans worth of tears. Have some fun while you’re on your journey: try out some things, experiment. You can manage to create a whole new world of people and life, I’m sure you can make your own style too.