A few years ago, I wrote my first book. It was a mess. There were gaping plot holes, huge scene inconsistencies, and poor characterization. It needed a full rewrite.
However, I didn’t have it in me to do a full rewrite. I knew it would need it, but I knew one thing – I could write a book to completion.
So, I set about writing my second book and this time I had another goal in mind. I would give it an edit myself. By that I mean, I would take the next step in writing a novel – complete a novel and then go through my manuscript and iron out the plot and character to the best of my abilities. Then I would hand it over to trusted writer friends to help me refine the plot and character.
I was stoked to report that this second draft was quicker to write than my first. The editing process was long and tedious. I had never done this before and it was hard, my head hurt most days. I lost count of the number of times I read through my novel. Taking an online editing course helped me figure out what I needed to do.
What does this have to do with when things are hard? The answer is to keep going. Even when it’s slow, when your brain hurts, and you feel like your manuscript is going nowhere – keep going. It is going somewhere. If all you do is prove to yourself that you can set a goal and accomplish it. Isn’t that what matters, anyway? That you. the writer can set a goal and achieve it?
Keep going when things are hard. Take breaks as needed. Pay attention to your body’s clues that it’s time to step away from the computer, but come back later and keep going. The saying that Rome wasn’t built in a day is true and the same goes for writing. Novels aren’t written in a day, but they get written with perseverance, passion and hard work.