By now I’m sure you have heard of the somewhat cliché “follow your excitement/passions shtick.” The thing is, as long as you don’t follow it off of a cliff, it can be very beneficial, especially you are looking to break into the writing field and write yourself a best seller baby!
Ok, maybe the best seller is a bit overzealous, but you know what I say, everything tastes better with zeal, even toast. “Extra zeal please good sir.”
So, you want to write a novel.
Your fingers hit the keys faster than Mozart on a Sunday morning hopped up on coffee. The first thing you do is probably search on google, “how to write a novel.” A million of internet hits later, you realize there are thousands of pieces of advice that may or may not work.
Writing is difficult, but it can also be extremely fun and rewarding. Kind of like swimming in the beach. The water is beautiful and refreshing, but then sand gets everywhere. I just want you to focus on the water, not the sand.
Look, you are going to get sandy and that’s ok. But for god sakes people, writing a book is fun, otherwise why would you go through it? It better not be money! I’ll go Liam Neeson on your butt if I ever find out you are simply writing a novel just for money aside from celebrities who – lets face it, can’t get a regular job.
So, I lied earlier
Writing is not as difficult as us “writers” want you to believe. Yes, that’s right ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, you too can write with the best of them, but and that’s a huge but, I mean Nicki Minaj size butt. You need to have perseverance and consistency if you want to start and finish a novel. You do not have to study literature, you don’t have to be an English teacher, you just have to have an idea and the will to light the world aflame with your words.
I’m not saying there isn’t a lot of work involved, because there is. Every idea requires a massive mount of research and accuracy, you need to be creative and have satisfactory grammar. But the thing, is you can do it.
What gets you excited about writing this novel?
Ok story time, why don’t you all cuddle up and sit around the fire, the Lion has a good one this time….
When I was but a young Lion trying to find his way within the pride, I would spend many days dreaming about writing a novel, so I roared and growled until one day I had this mystical idea. This one idea manifested itself into something grander than a poem and begged me to make it a reality. More so than the novel, there was this one singular scene that really got my paws wet, I was so excited about it that I actually couldn’t stop thinking about it. I could hear the characters calling me from the veil until eventually it was like a movie replaying in my mind. So, my little paws poked and prodded the keys on my laptop and before long I had the outline of my first chapter and future best-seller. (doubtful)
It was like a dirty rock to me at first and I wanted a sea of gold. So, I kept going, I built from that one scene and through talking to my characters and figuring out the plot, I had myself a book, but it all started with that one scene.
Before long I had refined my writing and what was once a dirty grimy rock that I could easily do away with, I noticed etched beneath the surface was the beginning of a diamond, so I continued knocking off the dirt carefully cultivating the shine until it became the most glorious diamond I had ever seen.
Why following your excitement is important?
Before you start writing a novel, there’s normally a scene that you have in mind that really gets you excited about the entire idea of writing that novel….
Why in the world wouldn’t you start there?
I have nothing against people who want to start chronologically and go from A-Z. But in my humble, lioness opinion, the mind doesn’t always work that way. Your idea might be midway through the novel. Just start there and figure out the rest later, this is about starting the novel. The rest of it is entirely up to you.
Most times though, that one scene will propel itself into another great scene, and another and another. But the key is starting and persevering. Follow your excitement throughout your novel and you will write some of the greatest work you have ever done. You want to find the zone? Well, it’s there, drenched in passion and dripping with love. Its hiding between the pages of your completed novel. You just have to write it.
So right now, if you are sitting behind your laptop dripping in sweat wracking your head for a lick of a sentence, stop trying to do things the conventional way and let your excitement drive you.
Read other books
One of the countless great things about writing a novel is that it has been done before— many times in fact. So, go on, read. Fill your brain with ideas and jumpstart new ones. Sometimes reading another novel can give you the idea for your own. It’s a cyclical thing and it’s totally not considered stealing.
Stop making excuses.
“I don’t have enough time.”
“I don’t know where to start.”
“A novel is a huge commitment.”
You could literally say the same damn thing about Netflix, but that doesn’t stop you from watching it does it? Nope.
Stop making excuses and put pen to paper. Let the words be your guide. Trust them, they know where to go. Make things simple for yourself. Write that scene that you can’t stop thinking about and build from there.
Yes, your writing might be sloppy, it might need edits so heavy and thorough that a clean up crew, the entire white house publicity team and Olivia Pope and all of her gladiators will have to pitch in. So, what, your job is to write, let the editors (the gods of writing) take care of the other stuff.
Listen…If Donald can do it….so can you.
“Just do it” – Nike.