I’m working really damn hard over here, and I’m starting to see a little progress. Which is good because the other option would lead to self-loathing, and I don’t think anyone wants to see that. (More than once a month, anyway.)
I’ve written 36 pages of this new book, and I’m still interested in it. More than interested – I am excited by it. And I have an idea of things that need to happen 100, 200 pages ahead. Scenes I’d like to write, emotional moments I want to hit. It’s a good, solid start.
I’ve been writing one thousand words every day, five days a week, same as when I wrote my first book in 2004, and every book after. I don’t know another way to do it, except for setting a word count goal, getting up every day, sitting in front of the computer, and meeting that goal.
Whenever someone asks me for writing advice I always feel at a loss. Just sit down and write, is what I say. Books do not write themselves. There are no shortcuts. It doesn’t matter how anyone else writes a book. Nothing I could tell you would change the simple fact that the only way a book gets written is if you do it yourself.
Whether I handwrite it first and then type it later makes no difference. Whether I write in the morning versus the afternoon versus two o’clock in the morning makes no difference. Whether I work with an outline or make it up as I go along makes no difference. Cafe versus home office versus library versus writing center versus residency program versus graduate school versus that tiny room over your parent’s garage? No difference.
All that matters is the voices in your head. And writing down exactly what they say.
This should make you all feel better about writing. What a relief. There’s no trick. Anyone can do it. If you’re ready to work.