Today I spent some time with an aspiring writer overwhelmed by the idea of beginning a book, let alone writing the whole thing. She considered our meeting a God moment since she'd been praying about what to do with the stories that had been rattling around in her head for years.
She'd bought the right books, even signed up for a conference aboard a cruise ship with Karen Kingsbury this coming March. But still she was overwhelmed and unsure of what to do about all those stories. We had a great time talking. I shared a few experieces along my journey to publication and did what I could to encourage her. But other than a pep talk and reassurance that she was doing what God designed her to do, she needed something concrete that would help her get that story out of her head and onto the paper.
My advice for the very first thing to do was join some online writing groups and connect with other writers. During the next few months while waiting for her cruise I suggested she get those characters out of her head and give them life of their own. Take notes, organize plot lines, sketch a few characters, and don't edit, regardless of how strong the desire to do so.
All she had ever done was think about her stories. She'd never written the first word. Sometimes the first word is the most intimidating. We've all been there. That blinking cursor mocks and the voices in our heads tell us we don't know what we're doing so why even bother. But we have to ignore the negative voices, surround ourselves with encouragers who've been where we strive to go.
Happy writing, Janet. I wish you all the success in the world.
What about everyone else? What advice would you give a fledgling writer who doesn't know where to begin? What first thing would you do first? Please share so others may grow and be encouraged in their walk?