You have to stop. Stop thinking ahead, stop planning for disaster. Stop over-thinking in general.
Start by setting the tiniest of goals. Don’t try to write a novel, write one page. If that feels too big, write a paragraph. Don’t just aim to write a sentence because you will try to write the most perfect sentence since language was created and it will kill your creativity.
That sentence, and the ones that follow, probably won’t be the first sentence. It probably won’t even be your first chapter by the end of your edits. My original first chapter started with a version of the recipe books chapter, now it starts in the supermarket. Want to see what I mean? Order The Choice.
This is your first draft. It’s meant to be bad. Terrible. A complete travesty to published literature. It’s allowed to be, because no one will ever see it. Not unless you show them - which I’d strongly suggest you don’t.
A page a day is a novel by the end of the year. You can do that. Once you get started, you might find you get into the flow, the way I do. You’ll pick up speed, but there are times I still have to trick myself into starting, by just focusing on one page.
Things not to worry about:
Make a start, today. Don’t go for perfect. Done is beautiful.
You'll get there, it works.
Pre-order The Choice, winner of the Good Housekeeping Novel Competition
The Choice is available to pre-order from Amazon, Waterstones, Book Depository
Published: 26th December 2019
Claire Wade is the winner of the Good Housekeeping Novel Competition and author of The Choice. She was bed bound for six years with severe ME, trapped in a body that wouldn't do what she wanted. She now writes about women who want to break free from the constraints of their lives, a subject she's deeply familiar with.