I don’t know why, but this morning I’ve been sitting here thinking about writing in general. And for some reason it occurred to me that the single-most valuable piece of advice I could give to anyone thinking about being a writer is to just write.
I probably thought about trying to write fiction for a good five years before I finally took the time to write that first novel. Maybe even ten years.
Oh, sure, I wrote in middle school and high school (it’s quite possible I peaked in 8th grade when I won that essay contest) and I still wrote bad poetry through college, but I never really thought about writing an actual novel or selling my writing until well after that when I was firmly entrenched in my career.
You know what stopped me for so many years?
Having to come up with all those place names and character names.
I held off on writing a fantasy novel for at least five years because the thought of naming all those places was just too much for me.
(I’m still not a fan of naming places. That’s probably why the first novel was intentionally about a place with no hero-worship or extensive history so all the places could be named things like Riverglen.)
I know lots of people worry about having ideas. They don’t want to write until they have the perfect idea or until it’s fully fleshed out or…
Trust me. Ideas aren’t the issue.
I’m sitting here looking at a list of ideas so long I don’t know if I’ll ever write half of them. It wasn’t that way when I started, but the more I write, the more ideas I have.
So, just write. Just start. Whatever’s holding you back will go away if you start writing and keep writing.
The key is to start.
Every thousand-mile journey begins with the first step, blah, blah, blah.