- My first advice is simple: just write. Sit down every day and plow ahead, with whatever word count goal you choose. And as you write, don’t think about the fact that you’ve never written anything longer than a twenty page paper and that was for a class you hated in college. Today, even if what you put on the page is terrible, no-good, the worst chapter ever inflicted on a word processing program, believe that through editing, educating yourself, and reading what other people write and say about writing, you can learn and improve. You can get better day by day—until one day you read over the two pages you managed to write the day before and think to yourself, ‘hey, that’s pretty good!’
- You are not alone. A huge community of writers exists out there, whether on the Kindle boards, or at Writer's Unboxed, or at your local coffee shop. Befriend them. It will lift your spirits, enrich your life, and urge you on when things get hard.
- Don’t think about publishing. It isn’t that a first or second book couldn’t be published, but that it can’t drive the work—the publishing experience is too frustrating, with too much stumbling about in the dark—for that to be a significant motivation. It’s only after you’ve written a book, revised it fifteen times, shown it to a few people whom you trust who have given you feedback, and then revised it several more times, that a novel is ready for public consumption. At which point you’ll probably find that your book wasn’t really done at all. But that’s in the future.