Writing life

Writing – it is all about practice

I always wanted to be a writer, but for a long time it was mostly about wanting and dreaming. However, I can easily point to he one moment that changed everything in my writing life, it basically created it for real, shifted from occassional dabbling to something I really do, that actually makes me think about myself as a writer. It was reading this article: https://goinswriter.com/set-habits/ I know the advice to keep going no matter what is heard often. And that we need to take small steps every day in order to achieve our big bold goals. I know. And yet I used to keep putting aside writing my novel waiting for something to happen.

Ever since reading this piece about 500 words a day I’ve put it into practice. I can only say, I was shocked at how quick you start seeing tremendous results. 500 words seems little, when compared to an average manuscript of 60 000 – 80 000 words length. Then again, you wouldn’t believe how quickly they days pass by! If you really go get up every morning to write those 500 words, you won’t even realise when you’ve reached tens of thousands.

I have now about one third the length of my novel without even noticing how it happened. It is really easy to sit down and write 500 words. It takes anything from 30 to 60 minutes usually, depending on how clear you are about your ideas, what you want to write. On many days I even write more, simply because I’ve got so engrossed with the process that I don’t want to stop!

This, however, is not all. You know, one of the reasons I was putting off writing was always that ‘I didn’t have enough skills’ yet. That I somehow needed to become better at writing before I undertake this big ‘first novel’ project. I so love my idea that I didn’t want to spoil it. Well, you know what? You’d be surprised how much you learn in the process of writing! Of course you need to apply certain level of awareness to the process, and be willing to look at what you produce analytically. But as long as you’ve read a substantial amount in your own life, you probably have enough skills in you to produce that first draft. And then you’ll move on to improving it and making it really excellent.

You’ll never write a perfect piece – but if you give yourself that freedom to experiment around and see for yourself what works – you’ll learn way more than by reading books and blogs about writing without actually putting down any words in you document (unless some of you still put them on paper – chapeau bas!).

And again, the action has power. Now that I have started writing anything that comes to my mind around my novel, based on the very basic outline I had, I do actually feel more motivated to spend some extra time at other points during my week to take a look at some advice about writing, think about my plot, see how I may develop it. In the end, I am doing more and more just because I’ve committed to do that writing every day, even if at the outset I didn’t know what I was going to write specifically, not having worked out the whole plot! But it happens now, organically.

I know my first draft will need a lot of editing. After those few months of regular writing I won’t have a finished piece – but I will have substantial material to work with, not an empty page and plenty of ideas. I will have tested them out and discarded the ones which were not right. I won’t struggle with the anxiety of an empty page either. And it is so exciting to have a solid piece of your own writing, believe me!

Now, on to the keyboards!