Writing a first draft is always a daunting process. Looking at a blank page, with no end in sight, can be extremely crippling. It can make you reconsider your ambitions to be a writer entirely.
But once you have that first draft down, everything after is so much easier. You have something pliable to work with. Something to tweak into a coherent story – at the least. So how do you make the process of writing your first draft easier?
Try and complete it in as little days as possible. One thousand words a day for an eighty-thousand word first draft will take you approximately just under three months to complete. Forget killer abs in twelve weeks, try the writing workout.
One thousand words a day? How does that solve your problem? You’re still stuck on committing one word to your manuscript, let alone one thousand a day! Here’s how you can overcome the hurdle:
Don’t think too much!
You might think this counter-intuitive. Your end goal is a carefully crafted story, that appeals to the writer’s critical sensibilities. You don’t want flaws, just perfection.
If you think – and work – like this from the get-go, you’re going to find it extremely hard to find the motivation to keep writing. There is one thing that all bestselling authors agree on. You’re going to hate your writing at first, nearly all the time. Writing is a horribly self-deprecating experience.
If you over-think about every little detail, trying to perfect every sentence and interaction within your work then you can never move on. The key to getting down your first manuscript is to write freely, uninhibited by your self-doubt.
Write messily, repetitively and inconsistently. Remember, this is only the beginning. You have countless hours ahead of you to revise, and research and excel your writing after you finish this step.
Writing without limitations allows for hidden gems to flourish. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve rushed through a writing piece, thinking that it’s crap, to return to it a few weeks later and notice a few hidden pearls of prose amongst the nonsensical gibberish.
The idea of a first draft is to create a foundation. Try and remember that when you’re writing.
So don’t give up hope. Just DO IT! Just write!