Five things I’ve learned about writing the first chapter

Every day you write something, is a day you’ve accomplished something.

“You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.”― Jodi Picoult

Over the years — it’s too blurred to say how many — I’ve had glimpses of ideas for a novel. In my day job, I’m a writer and content designer for a global corporate company. Non-fiction articles have become easier for me to write. But fiction? Well, that’s been my nemesis. These ideas I had never sparked; the idea would always blur at the edges, until it was lost, like a dream.

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”― Sylvia Plath

Two or three months ago, I took a step back. I had a couple of health scares, my anxiety was back, and I found myself feeling stuck. I hid this well, but at a cost to my own self. The lesson I took away from this rocky part on the road we call life, is that no time will ever be the perfect time. If you want to write, then write. With that said, I started to write my first novel. I’m only three chapters in, but it’s three more chapters than I’ve ever created before.

Lesson one: You don’t need a log cabin.

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Photo by: laurenmacneish.com

Lesson two: Imposter syndrome is real.

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Photo by: laurenmacneish.com

Lesson three: Don’t edit that first paragraph, yet.

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Photo by: laurenmacneish.com

Lesson four: Your first draft might be mortifying.

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Photo by: laurenmacneish.com

Lesson five: Surround yourself with support.

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Photo by: laurenmacneish.com

Writing is hard.

It really is. You’ll have days where you feel like you’ve accomplished something great, and other days where you think you’re doing a poor job. Trust the former. Every day you write something, is a day you’ve accomplished something. Observe, move, and talk. Writing is hard, but when you get to that point where you think ‘actually, this sounds good’, then you’ll realise that hard work really does pay off.

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Photographer and Writer. Based in Scotland. Using Medium for opinion pieces, marketing advice, and motivational articles. https://www.laurenmacneish.com/

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