So What am I doing today? This morning, on June 9th, I am running a marathon. It's my second. I still think I'm crazy.
So What am I doing tomorrow? If I'm still alive, I'm writing a book. It's my third. I still think I'm crazy.
Every once and awhile I get really overwhelmed and think What the heck am I doing? The massiveness of the tasks I'm about to do freak me out. Running for 5 + hours straight? Who does that? How is it even possible? And writing a whole book? Making up worlds, characters, plots? Who the heck do I think I'm kidding here?
Sometimes I'm at the beginning, looking ahead, and the end seems so impossibly far away. Other times I get lost in the middle, tired and weary of the journey. When I finally cross that finish line, I look back in disbelief and ask how I got here.
How do you run a marathon? By moving forward, one step at a time.
How do you write a book? By moving forward, one step at a time.
It's the same principle. If I look entirely at a project with macro vision, it looks too big and I want to run away screaming. If I break it up into sections, a mile here, a chapter there... it's doable. Marathons have training schedules, so should books.
Start small with just a concept. A central conceit. Then build on it. Add your characters, build your world around them. Give them problems, tensions, peril. Now that you have a basic concept of where you are going... go. Take it one chapter at a time. Don't worry about the 25 chapters (miles) ahead of you. Focus on the one you're in. Then move onto the next one... and the next. Before you know it, you're at the end.
So when people ask me for advice on running a marathon or writing a book, the advice is the exact same.
Start at the beginning and keep working towards the end. Pace yourself and never give up. You'll get there eventually, I promise.
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