Writing Tip #115

Be prepared for stops and starts. A coaching client of mine recently apologized for not getting me pages for Chapter 2 as quickly as she had for Chapter 1. As I told her, no apologies necessary. Chapter Twos are often a lot harder for authors. The first chapter of your book comes easily, as if from a dream (and in many cases it was), but then the next one, and then the next one and next one, can be more difficult to write as you grapple with the best ways to tell your story. I’ve said this here before, but writing a novel is supposed to be hard, it’s supposed to give you pause, make you think, make you doubt yourself, make you want to throw the entire thing in the garbage (an author-friend of mine deleted tens of thousands of words because they weren’t working — you gotta do what you gotta do). As far as I’m concerned, if the writing feels hard, you’re doing something right. As Jimmy Dugan says in A League of Their Own: ” It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.” So feel free to stop and rant and bang your head against the wall all you want while you write, just as long as you always start up again.

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