Sometimes life gets in the way; sometimes I don’t come across a topic to write about that hasn’t been hacked to death elsewhere. So when I get a chance to hand over the reins to another author who has good advice, I’m happy to share it. Today’s guest author is Chris Genovese. Click on his website link at the end of the article to learn more about him. Thanks, Chris!
No more rereading. Just fucking write.
Calling all authors! Calling all authors! Listen up. No more rereading! Yes, you heard me right. Stop reading over your work again and again and again. You’ll never reach chapter three if you don’t kick chapter two to the back and move on. You’ll never move forward if you keep moonwalking.
Let me start by introducing myself for anyone who doesn’t know me. I write under three pen names. I use Chris Genovese for kinky romance, Carver Pike for horror, and CM Genovese for all things romantic suspense (think motorcycle club and mafia). I’m not a grammatical wizard, but I’m a damn good storyteller. I’ve self-published over 30 books, and I’m fairly self-sufficient at doing it (I do have to ask for help from time to time).
Enough about me. This is about you. We need to talk about that book you’re working on and why you’re not going to finish it “eventually.” You’re going to finish it next month or maybe even this week.
One thing Twitter has opened my eyes to, and you know I tried like hell to stay away from Twitter, is the amount of authors constantly back peddling and second guessing themselves. The truth is, you will only complete that novel you’ve been working on when you force yourself to keep writing forward.
Sure, if you take a break for a couple of days and come back to your book feeling slightly out of it and disassociated with the story then yes, go ahead and read a few paragraphs at the most to make sure you can dive back into the story and that you can climb into your characters’ heads.
But don’t keep going back to the beginning to read through it, edit it, change it… don’t do it. You will never, and trust me when I say never, feel that the story is perfect. You know what they say about us being our own worst critics. You will always find something you want to change.
You know all those mental barriers you’ve built for yourself? It’s time to barrel through those motherfuckers. Kick down those damn doors. Be a cartoon caveman, grab that story of yours by its hair, and drag it through to the next chapter and then the one after that and the following one until the story is complete.
Here’s the secret to hitting those high daily wordcounts and finishing books quickly. Just keep writing forward. Don’t look back. Finish that damn book! Don’t spend years on the first draft. Don’t think of it as, “I will eventually publish my book.”
You WILL finish it, and you will complete it soon as long as you force yourself to write every single day, even if it’s only a little bit, and you keep adding to that story.
You can go back and fix shit later. You have all the time in the world for that. Chances are, once you reach the end, you’ll have a laundry list of things you want to tweak, add, or remove from your story. But you’ll never get there until you fucking get there. Sorry for being so blunt, but it’s the truth.
You are a fucking author!
Don’t second guess yourself. Don’t wonder if you really are an author. The second you start jotting shit down, you’re a writer. If you can spin a yarn, you’re a storyteller. If there’s a beginning, middle, and end… then you, my friend, are a fucking author!
You are a dream weaver. You’re a world builder. You give dialogue to beings that never existed before you breathed magic into their souls.
So put that damn story down on virtual paper (unless you’re handwriting it then go ahead and put it on actual notebook paper). Hell, scrawl it into the sand or smear it across the wall in blood for all I care. Just tell the fucking story.
Treat that last chapter like my mom used to treat me at the welfare office. As in, “You sit here, and you be quiet.” Then move on to that next chapter.
You’ve got this because you are a fucking author, writer, blogger, whatever nametag you want to slap to your chest… that’s you.
Now, stop listening to me and go write your fucking story.