BY Vani IN For Writers
My Writing Journey: 101 Lessons I Learnt From My Mistakes (#5 Mistake) [Huffington Post]
A few words is soon a paragraph, next a page, and a novel before you know it!
Growing up, I’d look at the tomes lining my mother’s bookshelf and always think how easy it must have been to write those pages. I was in an awe of the writers, but not so much of their hard work. For me, writing didn’t involve physical labour, no sweat and toil, you didn’t need to leave home, and yet got to enjoy fame and money. That was a mistake and I learnt my lesson when I started writing the first draft of my novel, The Recession Groom. It was during those times I’d think about writers past and how they managed to accomplish so much in an age with no computers, no internet and a fraction of the facilities we take for granted these days. How difficult it must have been to finish those books, to revise the drafts, to correct spelling mistakes or change the names of characters.
Writing is as much effort as anything else, and the better it is, the more time it takes. Most authors like Stephen King recommend setting daily targets which is an excellent idea. I do that, but I’m not as regimented about it as I’d like. There are good days when words come flying out of thin air and I can write five pages without any effort and there are non-writing days when even twenty words are a headache (sometimes, I don’t even get that, especially when I’m stressed). Many authors admit to similar struggles. Nicholas Sparks, author of The Notebook, writes 2000 words a day, completing his first draft in six months; John Green, author of the international bestseller, The Fault In Our Stars, says he deletes most of what he writes in the first draft and rewrites again. There are others like Danielle Steel and James Patterson who work on several books at a time. Tell you the truth, there is not one answer to how much you should write daily. I aim for a few good paragraphs and nothing more. On my good days, I hate to move away from my laptop screen and lose the flow. When it’s not going so well, I try to remind myself: what starts with a few words is soon a paragraph, next a page and a novel before you know it!
1. Write when you feel most creative and don’t stop until it’s all out.
2. If you aim for even just a few good words a day, words make paragraphs and paragraphs make stories – we all like good stories.
3. Understand that there are writing days and non-writing days. Don’t beat yourself up if nothing comes to your mind. Give it some time, relax, and it’ll come to you in due course.
4. If nothing works, let me know! I’ll try to come up with some more tips for my next blog.
This post is also available to read on The Huffington Post. Click Here.
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