Dear Writer-Friends,

I've been self-publishing since 2011, and I've shared the knowledge I've gained in two books: the Indie Author Survival Guide, Second Edition, and For Love or Money. I'm not an indie rockstar or a breakout success: I'm one of thousands of solidly midlist indie authors making a living with their works. These books are my way of helping my fellow authors discover the freedom of indie publishing. Write on, writer-friends!

S.K. Quinn, Independent Author of Science Fiction

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Starting Is Hard

Starting a new book.

Starting a new chapter.

Starting to write for the first time that day.

Starting to write for the first time after a long (or even short) absence from writing.

"An object in motion will remain in motion; an object at rest will stay at rest... unless acted upon by an external force." - Newton's First Law of Motion

I started writing every day partly to overcome the inertia that even a weekend off could induce. And I love to write - this isn't about the desire (or lack of desire) to get words on the page. The forces of darkness (Facebook, laundry, the endless to-do list) are constantly battling to keep you from starting. They are aided by fear (what is this chapter even about?), doubt (this novel is so freaking long, I'll never finish it), and anxiety (if I don't finish the book, then I can guarantee no one will read it) - the inner demons that are our own personal forces of darkness.

The forces of good are stronger, but sometimes they need a nudge.

Routines can help. I prefer a strong cup of tea, freshly cleaned glasses, and top-of-the-lungs singing of my preferred "get started" song (currently: Let It Go, from FROZEN). But when the routine becomes an excuse (I only have fifteen minutes to write... better not start!), then ditch that and just type.

In the end, the only way to start... is to start. Get those fingers in motion! Write anything, if you don't know what to write. When my kids were small, I had them write in a journal every day during the summer. When they complained "I hate writing!" I told them to write that... until they filled the page or came up with something better.

They quickly came up with something better.

So will you.

Start!

6 comments:

  1. Newton couldn't be more right! I often tell myself, 'just write no matter what crap comes out on the page'...and then somehow the act of writing seems to produce something worthwhile:) Also, I just read _Third Daughter_...it was great!

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  2. So true, Susan! I tell ya, today I opened a manuscript that I haven't seen in a looong time. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed by the changes I need to make. BUT it's all part of the process so I'm just digging in.

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  3. It's good to be reminded that this is normal, even for writers who have published many books :) Thanks!

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  4. Yes! This is what I need to hear.

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  5. Ha! It's been one of those days here. My morning routine was off, and I didn't end up opening my WIP until 2:30 p.m. Just getting it open was an event, but I did it, and the words are trickling onto the page.

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  6. Clean glasses are an important but often overlooked part of a successful writing day :)

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Erudite comments from thoughtful readers