14 May 2022
Persevere and don’t look back.
Seriously. Finishing your first book is the hardest. I know the temptation to go back and make that sentence perfect, to change that character’s name for the fifth time, to rewrite that first page until it stands out to everyone, is almost overwhelming.
But you have to keep moving forward.
I’ve walked several new writers through the process of writing a first book (I myself have finished about 13 at this point). You know what the number one killer of a book is? Perfection.
Here’s a secret: Your book isn’t going to be perfect.
That Golden Idea you have for the next Great American Novel? More cliché than you’re willing to admit.
But you know what? It’ll be finished.
Ask ten random people on the street, and I bet you at least one will tell you that they want to write a book one day. What sets you apart from those swarms of people?
You’ll have actually finished one.
Write a first draft, beginning to end, and you’ll be ahead of the majority of people who “one day” want to write a book. Save the perfect sentences for the editing stage. (And oh boy, the editing stage. But I won’t get into that.) Your job is just to write one sentence at a time, and keep going until you write the words The End.
That’s when your journey will have begun.
So pull up a chair.