Make It a Habit

However you like to write–pen and paper, laptop, typewriter–make sure you write every day. Sometimes it’s terrible. Sometimes it’s golden. Just make sure it gets done.

Don’t worry about quality, especially when you’re starting out and it’s the first draft. That draft is always terrible, but it’s very important.

I like to say the first draft is the skeleton-when you get the general gist of the story down on paper. Subsequent drafts are when you add the muscles, skin, and features–to make it pretty.

And don’t worry about the beginning. That always changes as you write and get to know your story and your characters. What you think about one character can change drastically by the time you type ‘The End’ on the final page.

I like for my characters to surprise me so I leave plenty of wiggle room in my outlines to allow for surprises.

In the ‘Guinness the Therapy Dog’ series, Lucy (his older sister) surprised me by insisting on being in the books. She’s a great dog so I let her assert herself-which is new for her. The real Lucy is so emotionally damaged by abuse that she is afraid of everything. To have her stand her ground is something wonderful to see.

I hear people say all the time “I would never write a book”. I say, “Sure, you can!” There’s a story in everyone and I think if you sat down at whatever writing implement you choose, you can get the story down on paper. You may not like the result, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. You wrote a book!

Take your passion or your favorite family story, and flesh it out. Write every day. Make it something you miss if it’s not done. If you decide you hate to write, finish your story and never do it again.

At least you’ll have one book that you wrote and you won’t have to wonder if it’s in you ever again.

Take on the challenge! Sonja

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