Write your way out of the sh*t pile

It has been said by many writers and would-be writers that someone else already wrote your story. You might be right. Maybe it has. But here’s the kicker: it wasn’t written by you, using your perspective. Your perspective is fresh and unique and it’s yours. Go for it and write it down. Get the story out of your head. 

If you’re afraid to write it, that it won’t be perfect, that what makes you a writer, and that you don’t know where to start. Every writer has these fears. The first word of advice is “just write it.”

Take the leap and write!

We’ve all heard by now that the first draft of anything is sh*t. That’s okay. It’s expected. If you want to write, start by writing something. The story is lurking in your head, maybe it has tumbled around in your brain for years. 

When I worked with and edited for technical writers, I gave them similar advice. Read and learn about your topic as much as you can. Then pretend a lay person is sitting across your desk from you. Write as if you’re talking to them. Write everything you can remember about your topic. Don’t worry about organization, spelling, grammar and all that wonderful stuff. Just write until you run out of ideas. Make notes as you go about things you still need to research, ask questions about, and so on. Add more notes as you research and get answers. If you can, let the writing sit for a period of time. 

The next step is to carefully review your words, and then reorganize it, re-write it, and voila! There’s your first real draft. Perform one or more edits (and reviews) and you’re done.

The same applies to fiction writing. Just write. Revise. Revise and keep going until you’re done.

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