Money is nice, and deadlines are helpful, but when it comes down to getting the writing done, you are the only person who can make that happen. We all find ourselves on the edge of the creative cliff, ideas swirling in our brain, our desire to write pulsing from our fingers, but we don’t take that next step of getting those ideas onto the page. It’s a struggle we all share.

The writing process can be a rollercoaster of emotions, from the exhilaration of a new idea to the terror of turning it into a novel, a screenplay, or a short story. It’s like an actor or performer experiencing stage fright before opening night.  It’s the jitters.  It’s the fear of the unknown.

But you must push past the fear and doubt and get those words out of your head and onto the page.

Have a Roadmap

Many new writers want to jump into writing a book or screenplay without doing the prep work.  With no clear storyline, they eventually get frustrated and give up on their project.

Take some time to craft an outline of your story from beginning to end, giving yourself story beats that guide you through the narrative. Even if you make changes later, you will have something complete that you can use as a basis for writing the book or script.

Shrink It Down

Instead of looking at your writing project as a whole – which can easily cause panic – give yourself permission to focus on one chapter or scene at a time.  Breaking the story down into manageable pieces will help you stay focused; over time, those chapters and scenes will pile up into a completed story!

The First Draft Always Sucks

“Write badly with pride” is a quote one of my screenwriting teachers had on the board the first day of class, and it’s a valuable mantra to keep in mind.  Since we normally witness only the final product of a book or movie, it can be hard to remember that the early drafts of these finished projects were probably rough and cringeworthy.

And it’s okay for yours to be, too.

Your goal is to get the story on the page. You can only improve it after it’s available to edit, and you can only edit what’s in front of you.  Get that draft down on paper.  No one else will see it, so there’s no reason to worry that this crap draft will be released to the masses.  

Once it’s out and the dust settles, you can get down to business and improve your story and characters.

One chapter or scene at a time.

Final Thoughts

Writing should be challenging.  It should give your creative side obstacles and push you to develop inventive storytelling methods.  By giving yourself tools like an outline, breaking the writing process into smaller parts, and allowing yourself to write a bad first draft, you’ll give yourself the motivation and confidence to get the work done.

Now get out there and write badly with pride!

Happy Writing, and I’ll see you next time!

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