We’re onto step two of the “How to Write Your Novel” process.
The first was to “figure out whether you need to put in research time before you get started.” The second is “Complete a first draft.”
Now, completing a first draft isn’t always as simple as sitting down and letting your creative genius out to play. There are a whole lot of ways you can either encourage that creative genius or stifle it.
Ask yourself this: Are you a plotter or a pantser? Do you work best when you’re operating with a set schedule and solid outline, or do those very concepts sap all your energy, leaving you with just enough strength to grab the remote instead of your writing implements?
This is something I cover more extensively in that special report available right here when you sign up for The Genuine Writer e-letter. (If you already signed up but don’t have the report, just shoot me an email and I’ll send it your way.)
The essential aspect to know is to work within your comfort zone as much as possible. So if you just feel like sitting down and writing, then sit down and write. And if you feel like mapping out your story line first, then map away.
It’s up to how you feel best inspired.
It’s also up to where you feel best inspired.
Is it your bedroom, lounging on a pile of pillows like a pasha? Is it at an organized desk with an office chair and no known distractions in the room? Or do you prefer sitting down on a blanket outside with a notebook, a pen and your free spirit?
That last one probably isn’t going to work too well in the winter, but otherwise, again… go with your own personal happy place if at all possible.
The same goes for listening to music, white noise or nothing at all. Coffee or tea. Chocolate or more chocolate. If it reasonably, legally, affordably and healthily aids your creativity, it’s probably a good thing to surround yourself with during the writing process.
You’ll probably want to set yourself a schedule too. You don’t have to write every day unless you want to. Nor do you have to write for hours on end. Half an hour five times a week or two hours once a week or an hour three times a week… You can pretty much make it work no matter what kind of life you lead.
This might mean you have to say no to Netflix a little bit more than you currently are. Perhaps you’ll need to ask your sweetie for a wee bit more space sometimes. But that’s it: sometimes. There’s no reason to give up your life.
All you need to do is make enough room for another worthwhile passion.
After you’ve got all that figured out, sit down and write. Don’t doubt. Don’t hesitate. Don’t edit.
Write. And keep right on writing according to your schedule in your comfort zone until you have a completed first draft on your hands.
The end! Of step #2.