7 Things I’ve Learned While Writing My First Novel

One thing I wanted to accomplish on my journey to finish my novel, is to help others who may want to do the same. Some of the best advice I have been given didn’t come from a best-selling author, but from someone like me who was just trying to make it work.

I have read my fair share of books, blogs and articles on writing your first book and good practices to have. I stepped back and took a look a the things I had learned. Then I threw all of it out the window and made my own because that’s just how I roll.

1. Writing does not just ‘come naturally’ all the time.

Sometimes you really have to work to put something on paper. Sometimes it’s shit. Sometimes you bang your head on a keyboard. Keep going.

2. Editing is a process – a big one.

Eventually, your eyes start to cross and you forget what the story was even about. Get an editing partner. Someone you trust to read your work, and someone who will give you honest feedback. “Sounds great.” Isn’t going to cut it. You need feedback that will help your story grow into what you are envisioning for it.

3. Grow some thick skin, because feedback is a tough pill to swallow.

We are writers and we feel emotionally attached to our work. Having someone point out the worst parts is overwhelming. The beautiful thing is that feedback is a way to grow your writing skills and content and it will only help you in the long run, even if it sucks to hear now. The most painful pill I had to swallow was someone telling me my story was boring and unbelievable – gah, that still stings. But guess what? It’s better now than it was before and I’m thankful for that.

4. If it bores you to write it, it’s going to bore someone else to read it.

It is as simple as that. If you get to the end and don’t have the desire to read it over and over again and fuel your own narcissism – no one else will either.

5. Write every day.

Write every day. Write every day. I’m saying it repetitively because I’m still trying to get myself to do this one. Even if it’s a small thing, write. It’s a talent and a skill and if you don’t keep up with it, it will wane. I didn’t write for a month, went to write and they had decided to get rid of the Oxford Comma. True story.

6. Have a good spot to write.

I threw this one in there because I’ve learned recently that having space is important. And having space that you can work in as an individual is even more important.

Your writing space should be a place where you can go to just exist with your thoughts and your story – even if you can only steal away a few minutes a day to do so.

7. Keep going.

I said it earlier and I’m saying it again – Writing is hard y’all. I’m about 30k words into my novel and I catch myself wanting to scrap it on one minute and hurry through getting it done and published the next.

Stick with it, because it’ll all be worth it.

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