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I’ve come to the conclusion…

That there are 21 stages to writing. Stop me if you disagree. 

1. I’ve got a great idea. I must write it down.

2. Why didn’t I write it down when I had the chance? Damn I’ve forgotten the next bestselling idea. 

3. Okay, I remembered a bit of my idea but it’s nowhere near as good as my bestselling idea. But it’ll do. Let’s start writing after several false starts.

4. Planning. Oh, how I hate planning. Kill me now. Actually, no I’ll wing it. I won’t write a character list with attributes. Nor will I write anything significant about my world. I won’t need it. 

5. Dammit I’m six chapters in and have forgotten what the main character looks like. Why didn’t I write this stuff down? Oh, yes, I was impatient. Well, I’d best just crack on with it after searching six chapters. 

6. Oh, for Pete’s sake. Why didn’t I make note on what the (insert thing here) looked like. Now I have to trawl through multiple chapters to remind myself what it looked like. Oh, I’ve found it, but I don’t need to make a note of it. I’m not likely to need to know it again. 

7. I’m halfway through this novel and boy is it hard work. Why did I ever start? Oh, that’s right I foolishly thought I’d sell billions and become a millionaire after finishing it. Now I’ve got to finish it because my mother is hounding me to finish it and I’ve bigged myself up to Facebook of wherever. I’d look a right fool if I stop now. 

8. Ahhh, writers block. Which means either I can’t be arsed or something good came on TV/YouTube (usually cats). But more likely I failed to actually plan. Yep, that’s it, I forgot to plan. 

9. Okay I’ve got my mojo back after begging on my knees to my muse. Let’s do this!

10. Work/family/(insert other excuse here) got in the way. Screw it I’ll start next week. 

11. Finally started again but dammit I forgot what I wrote, who my characters are and what arc I was writing. Why? Because I didn’t plan. But hey at least my writing style is improving only now the middle is written differently to the beginning. Ah, no one will notice. 

12. Okay, so now I’ve reached the stage of please God let this end. I need a social life. I haven’t played on my games console, walked the dog, fed the dead hamster since, well, you know when.

13. That’s it, I give up! But then your best friend finds a chapter or two and wow aren’t they blown away at your literary prowess and encourage you to finish. So you try. 

14. You decide perhaps you’ll have a stab at some planning for the 20th time and give up. It’s just not as fun as writing. 

15. You hit the worst moment ever. You have to kill someone in your book. Someone you’ve grown to love and it hurts like a bitch. Your significant others, or the dog is looking at you like a crazy person because you’re blowing your nose into a tissue and wailing as you write. 

16. Okay, so you’ve reached the final chapters and now you don’t want it to end. So you string it out a little, perhaps go back to the beginning and fiddle around there because you don’t want your baby to end. It’s irrational and nothing to do with number 20 on my list. 

17. You pluck up the courage from God knows where to finally finish the book and when you do write those magic words, THE END, they conjure up such feelings of joy. 

18. You now get paranoid that you are going to lose all your work, so you sign up for every cloud based solution you can and purchase 20 memory sticks and spend three hours uploading multiple copies of your work to each place. Doing it again to be certain. Still you’re not convinced and attach one to your keys just to be safe. 

19. You’ve finished. Now what? Someone has to read it, but oh, God what if they hate it? You ask one of your unsuspecting friends to review your work asking for honesty. But seriously thinking, that if they so much as find fault you’ll poison their coffee. 

20. They loved it, but they would, they’re your friend and wouldn’t hurt you. So you decide to print and here’s the moment you’ve agonised over for years. Do I submit it/publish it or let it languish in a drawer. We all hate rejection and despise criticism. Though you realise what is the point of writing if there’s no-one to read it.

21. You publish. Wow. You did it. You’re a writer. What now. Oh, I know, book 2. DAMMIT why didn’t I plan book 1 when I had the chance. And so it goes, round and round. 

But you know, despite all 21 steps I wouldn’t give it up for all the tea in China. 

All I will say is…

“It is far easier to jump from a high place in the hope of sprouting wings and taking flight, than it is to write a book. Yet once you’ve mastered it, you will be soaring higher than the birds.” -Harrison Davies 2012.

Keep writing and don’t stop. 

P.S. Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance. And even though I didn’t mention it. Secure a good editor before you publish. 

And although I didn’t mention it. Secure a good editor before you publish. Elaine Denning springs to mind. 

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Categories: General
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  1. April 13, 2016 at 9:30 pm

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