I spent 20 years trying again and again to write a book and could never finish a first draft. I will share with you two lists:
Things that stopped me from finishing a first draft:
- No plan. I would always paint myself in a corner with plot if I didn't have a clear plan.
- Waiting for Inspiration. The Muse is a fickle bitch.
- No dedicated place or time to write.
- Distractions. Work, family, friends, phone, TV, Internet.
- Poor word processing tools.
- Spending more time editing previous chapters.
This list freed me to finish first drafts:
- Outline the hell of of your story.
- Write EVERY DAY.
- Create a distraction free place and time to write.
- Scrivener. Buy it.
- Give yourself permission to write a shitty first draft.
- Never go back and edit. Lots of time for that later.
- Write one book at a time. Finish before starting the next project.
- Keep notes in long hand. Keep a notebook with you all the time,
- Read a lot.
- Discipline. Finish things.
Keep in mind that this is what helped me. As of this writing I have three novels published and a half dozen short stories. Every writer is different. Be honest with yourself. Is your process working?
If you finish your first draft you are already beating the odds. I will do a future post on second and third drafts.
--Celebrate your first drafts. They are more important than final drafts.