Keep on keeping on

Writing is hard. I don't mean the act of making the pen move or the hands bash the keys, what I mean is, the entire process from having an idea you like to publishing a book you still like is hard. But you can turn that to your advantage. Everything that helps you keep writing is GOOD. Everything that seems to slow or discourage writing is BAD. This gives you a way to sideline one of the most crippling aspects of writing- losing self belief, asking yourself 'is it good enough'- or worse, telling yourself 'it's just not good enough'. By doggedly following the path of least resistance to actual words on the page you will at least get to stage one- a sizeable number of words that can be edited. This is the equivalent of a sculptor taking delivery of a lump of stone. Think of a sarsen stone or a menhir- they 'work' as sculptures even without any surface chipping and carving. So too does a raw MS- it has real value in itself- very very few MS cannot be salvaged in some form or another. Maybe not by YOU, but by someone with a less attachment. But let us be optimistic- you have your raw words, now you decide or fine tune what the book is 'about'- for me this isn't always straightforward. I've written books where I had to be told by someone else what it was 'about'. Then it was obvious. It could be a theme you keep circling, it could be a something that bubbles along beneath the surface or it could be a question you are trying to find answers to. Having settled that (again using the criteria of going with the idea that makes you most want to keep writing) you can start a proper edit. Congratulations you are half way there!