Alan Watt–author of 90 Day Novel–gives great advice. He suggests answering these questions, spending 5 minutes on each one:
- I’m afraid to write this story because…
- One thing I feel strongly about is…
- The dilemma and the heart of my story is…
Once you acknowledge your fear, then you aren’t ruled by it. I say time and time again, first rough drafts aren’t perfection. If you think it has to be that way, then you’ll get stressed before you even begin to the point you’ll probably give up, make 10,000 excuses why you can’t finish your novel/short story, and never finish your first draft.
Please, please, please just worry about getting your idea–your story–on paper. Worry about grammar and sentence structure in the revision and editing process. Get out of your head so you can surprise yourself.
Most importantly, don’t be afraid to write poorly! You won’t be defined by that. Trust me. If you allow yourself to experiment and play with your writing, then creative energy can flow easily.
Drafts are meant to be polished to turn into a gem. Drafts aren’t meant to start out as gems already. What’s the fun in that?