Why it is Prevalent Advice
After years of reading blogs and books or listening to podcasts to help my authors there is one common bit of wisdom that writers seem to avoid. It's been in bold, italics, set by itself or so many other ways which are not subtle. Yet, there are writers still following blogs and podcasts or buying books and magazines on "How to Write a Book!"
Let's distill what all of these authorities keep saying, repeatedly:
Honestly, it's not easier said than done. It's something you do, without talking about it, thinking about it, planning it, arranging around it or even worrying about it. As a matter of fact, you are not writing a book at this point you are just telling a story. So the mantra is: Write the story. Write the story. Write the story.
It's going to be ugly, even monstrous. Your rough draft should be horrible, warty and slimy. It should have so many typos and grammatical errors that your word nerd friends would cringe. It should have plenty of sections which don't make sense or are just plain wrong. You heard me, it should be wrong. Inaccurate descriptions, incorrect information and completely wrong words.
Who cares if you have the right tech? Use the voice memo function of your smart phone to get your ideas out then transcribe the ideas into notepad or word. If you'd like to use software, that's great. Yet don't get stuck on all the functions that you can do with the software, just use it to put something together. Don't get lost outlining, or creating your character sketches, or... , or...
Not one published author wrote the perfect book on the first try. They wrote a terrible draft that no one got to see, revised it as best they could - possibly twice, sent it to beta readers, revised it again after getting the betas' feedback, sent it to the content editor, revised with those notes, sent it to the line editor, revised with those notes and finally sent it to the copy editor to format. Mind you some of them even send it to a proofreader before sending a manuscript to their copy editor. Phew!
So why try to do the work ahead of time to write the perfect book when you're going to have to make changes and revisions later on?
Let the rest of us worry about making it pretty and ready for public consumption. We just want you to focus on getting a story out. Write the story that's buzzing insistently to get out, write the story which distracts you throughout the day as it flutters back and forth, write the story you need to tell. I want to read it, but I can't if you don't