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1. ‘Just do it’: In the great words of Mia Freeman, “You can edit bad words, but you can’t edit no words”. Even when you feel like you’re just writing rubbish, having something on paper (no matter how bad) is always better and easier to come back to and edit.
2. No Pressure: In the same vain, if you don’t feel like writing/don’t have time/can’t be bothered/want to watch reruns of Hannah Montana instead, don’t stress. Until you become a professional writer, there’s no need to rush—you write better when you want to write.
3. Set up a Playlist: I have a playlist of inspiring music (mostly without words) that I use to get me in the writing ‘zone’. Try setting one up—it’s great as white noise to block out the sounds of everyone else in the house.
4. Don’t let others see: ‘What ?’ you ask. At the writing stage, it’s much better to get a full story out before you get others telling you what they think—not only may this discourage you, but it’s your story, so it’s important you make it the way you want (at least in the beginning). However, if you’re keen to let others know how awesome (or pretentious) you are, go for it!
5. Backup: Every time you write, BACK IT UP! Not just save every 5 minutes, but email it to yourself each chapter or put it on a thumb drive or save to Dropbox/OneDrive/Google Drive (or all of the above if you’re me! I have 5 copies of every document I’ve made)… you get the idea. If you lose something you’ll be kicking yourself, and you won’t rewrite it the same way.
6. Read: Just because you’re writing a book, doesn’t mean you should stop reading books. They can really help you with new ideas, techniques etc., and are good springboards, especially if you want to get picked up by publisher (certain publishers like certain genres/styles, so targeting the right ones is always good).