Friday, February 22, 2013

Laura Carlson on Writing a Book Part III of III

Ah... it's time to get down to the good stuff. WRITING!!  I seriously need this.

If you missed Part I, You Can Write, or Part II, Reasons We Avoid Writing, make sure to catch them!!

Please welcome Laura Carlson!!

How Do I Begin?

Okay, this is the fun part. You have an idea. Right now it may be vague and undeveloped, but it won’t be forever. You have also read through the list of lies we tell ourselves to avoid writing today.

Do not feel ashamed if you’ve made excuses for yourself. I’m not here to concentrate on what you’ve been doing wrong. I’m here to identify what’s prevented you from writing that story you’ve kept waiting and to encourage and inspire you to begin!

Writing a book is an endurance sport. To treat it as anything else is to already admit defeat. It will take a long time to complete. Who cares? The years will pass anyway, regardless of your action or inaction.

Create a Writing Schedule

I find that acts of endurance must be approached in baby steps. Promise yourself to write a thousand words a week. To get an idea of how long that is, this sentence just hit the thousand word mark, so this sentence and everything above it is your weekly goal. If you can do this, you’ll have a book-length draft by the end of the year.

If you’d prefer to measure your progress by time rather than word count, then try writing one to two hours per week, or twenty to thirty minutes a day.

Start off small; make this task manageable. Remember, your goal is endurance. If you cannot meet this goal week after week, then you’ll want to decrease the time/words you write until it becomes manageable. Any amount of writing is better than none at all.

I Have No Idea What To Write!

Many of you might be panicking. Your idea is majorly underdeveloped. How are you supposed to write a book?

I’ve found—and I’ve talked to many writers who also share this opinion—that the hardest part of the book is writing a story out of thin air. Editing a book is easy because you’ve developed the parameters of your world; there’s something written down to work with.

Some of you need to organize your idea before you being to write. So I’d suggest beginning your writing habit by spending the amount of time you’ve allotted yourself to focus on brainstorming and outlining your story.

For others who don’t want get started and worry about organization later, I’d suggest writing through a stream of consciousness and never hitting the backspace button. You can edit the problems out later.

Lastly, no idea is ever fully developed when you go to write your first draft, despite how much brainstorming you’ve managed to do. Go where your story takes you. You might be surprised what you come up with when you wing it. You’ll explore aspects of your world that you hadn’t even known were there.


You have your idea. You’ve confronted the lies we tell ourselves. Now you have a sense of how to write your story. There is nothing to stop you from writing but your own inaction. So give it a try. The worst that can happen is that you’ll end up right where you currently are—further along than you were before you read this. 

*sigh*  Ok... I'm going to do it. I'm going to set a particular amount of time and JUST DO IT. Maybe not about the unicorn, but nothing will get done unless I figure out how to pace myself and get it done!!

Thank you, Laura, for visiting Colorimetry!! 

About Me
Laura Carlson, Editor
American Editing Services

Laura Carlson is founder and editor of American Editing Services, an editing business based out of Santa Barbara, California.

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