Thursday, November 16, 2023

Dive In, Pen First

an unlined notebook with a cream, satin page marker and a black ink pen resting on the open page where it wrote 'Once upon a time'

When you start writing your first book you’re filled with excitement and pure joy. So it’s no wonder your brain isn’t thinking ahead to marketing, career strategy, and long term goals. When you first start, don’t stop until you’re done. 

But once you’re done…take a breath.

This week we’re writing about things we wish we’d known before we wrote our first books. Personally, I don’t think you need to know anything before you try your hand at penning your first novel or novella. I believe going into it without expectations or rules is a precious thing because you’ll only ever have that experience once. 

If you have no previous education, you have no rules to follow. Going into writing a book without knowing the phrases three act structure and character arc give you the freedom to explore your story without any hinderances to your imagination. And it’s fun.

Once you have a completed book the real world comes crashing in with decisions. You’ll need to edit it, how and/or who do you have to help you comes into play, and then you must decide which publishing route you want to take with it. And no matter which path you choose, there’s a LOT to learn. 

It’s true, the story may not work. You may end up with a meandering mess or characters who fall flat. But, you’ll have had the best time writing it because your imagination had free reign. If you’re thinking about writing a book, do it. You already have the capability and you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars going to conferences or taking classes. You’ll be starting with your innate ability of storytelling that you’ve formed from all of the books you’ve read up to this point. 

I will add one caveat to this whole idea of starting to write without any prior knowledge, don’t write it long hand in a notebook. Type it out. You’ll thank yourself when the next step doesn’t include converting written text to electronic format.

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