Getting it done is the challenging part.
So how do you do it?
- Ass in chair. This is the simplest tip anyone can give you. Sit down in front of that computer and just write. The muse will come when you show up. It's not going to call you or send you some mystical signal on when it's time to write. Pick a time and plant your ass in the chair.
- Ignore the fear. Stop with the "am I good enough," "will anyone like it," or the worse, "will it sell?" Stop it! Put that ego in the backseat and just write your story down.
- Read. Sorry, you can't write in a vacuum. Best advice about writing? Read a lot. Reading introduces you to different styles and voices that could totally enrich your own writing. Read multiple genres. Don't be tied to your old tried and true favorites. Explore the world of books in every category and see what's out there.
- Get good at Grammar. Yes, it's important and even if the reader doesn't know all the technical grammar rules they'll feel it when something doesn't sound right. Others will know and will just not want to read what you've written. Grammar is one of the most important things in your tool box. Make it work for you.
- Set goals. Pick a page count or slice of time when all you do is write. Stephen King wrote in his book On Writing that he does 10 pages a day. Sometimes he's done early, sometimes he's burning that midnight oil. So pick your goal and stick to it. Slice of time? I used to write from 6 to 7 am before work. It was my most productive time because it was before the family woke up and started moving around. It was a quiet time with just my characters, coffee and the story. It worked for me. Find what works for you.
- Hold precious your writing time. Choose that time and make it your job. Its a sacred time between just you and your work. Go to it and get it done.
- Go to writing conferences or join writing groups. Be around other writers and be open to learning what they have to share. No one is perfect and everyone can learn. Hanging around these kind of people will help keep your focus and motivation.
These are just a few tips that will get that story written. After all this is done the editing process begins. Don't edit in the middle. Get it all down on paper, put it on the shelf for a couple of weeks. Then come back and read with fresh eyes. The story is the foundation, editing is the walls, and that last draft is the finishing decor. Polish it, shine it, and make it happen.