I currently have 1,722 words of my book, but I still don’t know what it’s about.
I genuinely have no idea what I’m aiming toward, but I’ve got some characters, scary scenes, and a message I want to put out there.
What I’m writing right now isn’t that great. I acknowledge that. However, I can say I’m writing a book, and that alone holds so much power and pushes me to write.
What I’ve realized is it doesn’t matter if what I’m writing is a shitshow because no one’s reading it. Plus, getting out all the bad is going to help me get to the good stuff.
Your two option: write or not write
The way I see it is, I could keep doing what I was always doing and sit in front of my writing device and stare as I try to come up with the unreachable perfect beginning.
Or I can write some words that may or may not remain in the final draft.
I can not write the book, or I can write it no matter how ugly and messy. I choose the latter because that’s the one that includes the writing part. (You know — the most important part.)
Writing it, despite its shittiness, is getting me into the habit of writing. I sit down every day and look forward to it. I never know what to expect, and that’s fun for me.
Some would consider this part of the process a complete waste of time, but I call it discovery.
Something is better than nothing
We get too caught up in the overwhelm of starting. There’s so much to say and things to do . (It’s a wonder why anyone wants to be a writer. This shit is stressful.)
All that overwhelm gets us to nothing, and if it does get us to something, it’s five different outlines that aren’t helping us write.
That’s why I said fuck it and just started writing.
I might stumble upon my goal in a couple of days or maybe two weeks from now, but at least I can say I’m trying.
More importantly, at least I can say I’m writing.
I know that what I’m writing right now is going to lead to something. It’s inevitable. It might be a completely different idea than what I had in mind, but something is better than nothing.
Dare to begin
I could continue to freak out about beginning and not write a damn thing, and I’ll still have a blank page one, two, three months from now.
If you have something to say and a story to tell, you have to tell it. You might not know how to do it or the right words to use, but you have to start somewhere.
No one starts anything without actually knowing how to do it. No one finishes a project their first time only for it to look perfect. That’s why I have respect for those people — because they dared to do what most are afraid of: commencing.
Once you start, it’s easier to keep trying. Even when the fears attack you, you know you can keep doing it.
Focus on creating
Don’t you want to start writing your book? If you have a character in mind and something to say, then just put it on paper. Who cares about the rest right now?
You don’t even have to tell anyone what you’re doing. If you do, you might put unnecessary pressure on yourself to write and get things right.
The only reason I write about this is that I want to share my entire journey of writing my first book. I want to be real and honest and let you know that you’re not alone in this crazy experience.
But you don’t have to do any of that. Your job is to write and see what happens.
What are you waiting for?
Before I started, I kept waiting for a special day — something that signified it was time to start my book.
But the day you start writing your book will be as ordinary as any other.
You’ll have the same breakfast, do your same routine, and you might get home to a messy house. There will be no music when you decide you’ll finally start writing. No candles will magically appear.
You have to sit and write on the same desk, in the same room, with the cup of coffee you always drink.
You can’t keep waiting to start because I can assure you that wait will drag on.
If you need an outline, then sit your butt down to write it. If you’ve tried an outline before it hasn’t worked, then sit your butt down to write that idea you’ve had in mind even if you don’t know where it’s going.
What are you waiting for?
Write and see what happens. Keep going until you finally figure out what you’re trying to say and how you’re going to say it.