Writing over the hump. [33/52]

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When I first started writing, I just wanted to be a short story writer. Ray Bradbury is my inspiration and favorite creative person ever. He wrote novels (including the best novel of all time), but he is also known for having written hundreds of amazing short stories in his lifetime.

I wanted to be just like him and write hundreds of incredible short stories.

And I didn’t think I was capable of writing a novel.

So, I started writing short stories. It’s important for beginning writers to get quick wins. Writing short stories is the perfect way to do that. It helps you grow in your skill and confidence.

After having a handful of short stories under my belt, I sat down one night and outlined a story based on an assignment I did for a writing seminar in college two years prior. The assignment was to write the first chapter of a novel.

As I outlined the story, I realized it was going to be longer than just a short story. I tried not to think too much about writing a novel (so I didn’t freak myself out). Instead, I just focused on writing to the outline and having fun.

That book was only 30k words, technically a novella, but it started a shift in the way I approach my writing. Now, having written the first drafts of four books, I can’t imagine not writing novels.

I’ve learned about the process and how many words my outlines will translate to when written. Most importantly, I feel like I got over that first writing hump, where writing a novel used to seem impossible. A the only way to get there was to write that first novel.

I’m not saying the actual butt-in-the-chair writing will get easier. It’s still incredibly hard and there are days when I feel like trashing entire novels. But, the more you do it, the more your mind will shift. You’ll go from, “This is impossible! I can’t do this!” to “This is impossible! But, I’ve done it before.”

Jump. Build, Fly.
F.C. Shultz