1. Write badly.

“Get it all down. Let it pour out of you and onto the page. Write an incredibly shitty, self-indulgent, whiny, mewling first draft.”

— Anne Lamott

  1. Write quickly.

“I believe the first draft of a book — even a long one — should take no more than three months… Any longer and — for me, at least — the story begins to take on an odd foreign feel.”

— Stephen King

  1. Write early.

“I try to write in the early morning if I can, when my sensor isn’t working overtime. I start in ways that are mysterious even to me.”

— Alice Hoffman

  1. Know the beginning.

“I just focus on getting the first scene right, with a few lines about the overall plot, and then the book grows organically.”

— Alexander McCall Smith

  1. Know the ending.

“If I didn’t know the end of a story, I wouldn’t begin. I always write my last line, my last paragraph, my last page first.”

— Katherine Anne Porter

  1. Don’t second guess yourself.

“Don’t look back until you’ve written an entire draft, just begin each day from the last sentence you wrote the preceding day.” 

— Will Self

  1. Write, and then forget about it.

“… I learned not to think about anything that I was writing from the time I stopped writing until I started again the next day. That way my subconscious would be working on it and at the same time I would be listening to other people and noticing everything.”

— Ernest Hemingway

  1. Write blindly.

“The bottom line is that I like my first drafts to be blind, unconscious, messy efforts; that’s what gets me the best material.”

— Jennifer Egan

  1. Go sentence to sentence.

“I write sentence to sentence. That’s the kind of writer I am. I don’t have a plot when I begin.”

— Lorraine Adams

  1. Throw in everything.

“I am a hopeless panster, so I don’t do much outlining. A thought will occur to me, and I’ll just throw it into the story. I tell myself I’ll worry about untangling it later.”

— Marie Lu

  1. Use whatever tools work for you.

“I start with a beat sheet, which is more of an abbreviated outline. It hits all the major plot points. From there I move to note cards. Bu the most important part of my process is my inspiration board.”

— Kami Garcia

  1. Celebrate The End.

“Writing the last page of the first draft is the most enjoyable moment in writing. It’s one of the most enjoyable moments in life, period.”

— Nicholas Sparks

This post was originally published at Career Authors

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