For Aspiring Writers

Why Give Up When You Can Write a Masterpiece?

The hardest obstacle I’ve come across as a writer is determination. It’s very easy to abandon what you once thought would be ‘the best story ever’. You get distracted by the telly, you get distracted by another book, you get distracted by another idea. You get worried about the quality of your work and you lose the inspiration you had when you first thought of your idea. It’s all natural. But it can be conquered.

  • Start Small – I admit, my biggest mistake as a beginning writer was diving straight into a novel. Big mistake. As I wrote in ‘To the beginning writer’, writing a novel is like running a marathon. You need the skills, the training, the practice and the knowledge you gain in smaller races, or in our case, in shorter stories. Start with 1,000 words, move on to 5,000 when you’re comfortable. Increase to 10,000 words, 20,000 words and so on. You will get there, but you can’t do it without experience.
  • Just write –  The first draft is always the hardest to get through, in my opinion. It’s very easy to get sidetracked, and wanting to back and perfect stuff, or just get bored, so the best thing is to is to not look to much at the paper/computer screen, and just write. Even if it’s a whole load of embarrasing rubbish, it’s still there. You can spend your time making it sound good later, but if you have nothing to work with, it can’t sound good at all!
  •  Give yourself an aim –  If you work will with deadlines, set yourself a goal of writing, say 250 to 500 words a day, or maybe 2,000 words a week. This is an easy one to say, but a hard one to stick to, for me, out of the lot. The only way I’ve come to conquer this is to log my progress – when I get behind on one day, I find myself writing double the next day. It’s one hell of a push! Click here to get your own word count progress chart
  • You don’t always have to start at the start – Write the bits you feel most passionate about, the ones with the most drama, or the most comedy or the introduction of a new character, if you get the best bits done first, you’ll only have to fill in the gaps at the end

Always remember the inspiration you had at the start of your story, remember this can be the biggest achievement of your life, remember you are a writer – you write stories – finished ones. Keep on going to finish your masterpiece.


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6 thoughts on “Why Give Up When You Can Write a Masterpiece?

  1. This is a very helpful post! Even for writers that have already written a few books.

    I like what you said about writing down parts of a story that you feel most passionate about. You can fill in the rest later, but always get those inspired bits down first. A writer will definitely be more likely to finish a story that way.

    • Thanks! It’s good to know that the stuff I post is helping writers! I know, I remember how much I wanted to write the climatic scene of my story, and thought ‘why not now?’ It’s a simple idea, but I had overlooked it for so long!

  2. I never start at the start – I always write bits and bobs and then fuse them together. However sometimes, to get a sense of the way the book works, I write chronologically. I also use deadlines (otherwise I wouldn’t write anything).

  3. Pingback: Staying Inspired « ZephyrCat's Art Journal

  4. A great piece. I’m glad I have written my Work In Progress manuscript but it’s a shame I’m at ten drafts and it still needs a few more re-writings.

    Your first point, starting off small, is advice for every writer to take. I had an idea and began writing a novel. However, the enormity of the task got to me.

    I’ve had writer’s block, writer’s depression, and all those other pitfalls of novel writing. It’s hard work. Starting by writing a short story and analysing that for weaknesses is a much better choice. It’s easier to re-write 3,000 words than it is for 90,000 words.

    Thanks for sharing these tips!

    • Thanks for your comment! I went through exactly the same dip as you, about beginning a novel, and never stop preaching to others not to do it! I’m glad you enjoyed this post and thanks for stopping by!

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