Finishing your First Draft - Day Nine

Doug Landsborough
April 20, 2023


I have some good news for you today: you’re nearly finished with this course!

Over the past week or so, you’ve learned all about the fundamentals of story craft, preparing to write your future bestseller, characters, plot, and theme. If you’ve been keeping up in Let’s Write a Book and reading the articles I’ve bombarded you with, then you’ve absorbed an absurd amount of knowledge.

Look at you go, nerd. (Coming from me, nerd is a term of endearment.)

And while there are some other things you can add to your writing arsenal–things like worldbuilding, setting descriptions, crafting languages, etc.–those will all come with time as you write.

That’s why today’s lesson is just about our favorite thing: writing!

To prepare you, my fledgling author, to write your novel and all its tens of thousands of words, I’m going to bust two writing myths that plague many writers and their books.

Myth One: You Need to Rely on a Muse or Inspiration to Write

This particular myth hurts me to hear. Too many writers believe that their craft is limited by some imaginary force. They think that all the imagination, creativity, and writing prowess inside of them is subject to some mystical power either allowing them to write or restraining them.

More than anything, this is an excuse.

Yes, there will be days when you just don’t feel like writing. There will be days when what you write is awful. This happens to all of us in any profession. 

Realistically, creativity is a muscle. The more you pump creative iron, the stronger your muscle becomes. That means you will be able to tap into your imagination and your creativity the more you use them.

This will be tough at first. Embrace your enthusiasm for your story and write as often as you can. The more you do that, the easier it will be.

Myth Two: The Situation Needs to be Perfect for You to Write

Similar to the idea that you need a muse or bolt of inspiration to write your book, many writers will claim that they can only write in specific situations.

Listen, I would love to only write from a seaside manor while sipping daiquiris. I love daiquiris.

That’s not going to happen for a while, though. And guess what? Just because you don’t happen to be in your writing space doesn’t mean you can’t write. One of the coolest things about Dabble is that you can access it from anywhere with any device that has access to the internet. 

Remember, your creativity is available to you whenever. Wherever. If you have ten minutes to kill, crank out a couple hundred words.

The Solution: Make Writing a Habit

I mentioned this back on Day Two and all throughout Let’s Write a Book: you need to make writing a habit. Books are long. They can be tens or hundreds of thousands of words long. If you’re only writing a couple hundred words a week, it will take approximately… forever to finish your book.

Trust me, the math checks out.

So the solution is to make writing a habit. And luckily for us, making a habit of writing also deals with the two myths we chatted about.

The easiest way to do this is to make use of everything we established on Day Two: your writing space, your toolkit, and your mindset. It’s really easy, trust me.

Go sit down in your writing space. Set a timer for 15 minutes. Don’t stop writing until the 15 minutes is up.

You can repeat this as many times as you’d like, but make sure to do it at least once a day. Then bump it up to 20 minutes. Make use of writing sprints. The more often you do it, the more automatic it will become.

And guess what? Dabble can help with your goal setting and habit building, too! So, in your Dabble Project, open up the Goal Settings by clicking on the gear icon next to Goals and Stats.

In the Goal Settings Menu, choose your Book as your current source and set a goal date of one week from today. Then, for your actual word count goal, choose from one of the following options based on how many days you think it’s realistic for you to write:

  1. 3,500 words (500 words/day)
  2. 1,750 words (250 words/day)
  3. 700 words (100 words/day)

Tip: It might be worth doing a few 15-minute writing sprints to see what’s realistic for you. And remember to start small.

Dabble will automatically keep track of your words written each day as you try to hit that goal! 

So what are you waiting for? Get writing!

See you tomorrow,

Doug from Dabble

Doug Landsborough

Doug Landsborough can’t get enough of writing. Whether freelancing as an editor, blog writer, or ghostwriter, Doug is a big fan of the power of words. In his spare time, he writes about monsters, angels, and demons under the name D. William Landsborough. When not obsessing about sympathetic villains and wondrous magic, Doug enjoys board games, horror movies, and spending time with his wife, Sarah.