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  • Writer's pictureLaura Schaefer

My Top 10 Tips for Writing Your Book's First Draft

💡 Tip 1: Don’t worry about being great. Just write what is true for you. This current book idea of yours will be one of many. No need to make it perfect at this stage, just make it.

💡 Tip 2: Choose to do it for your OWN reasons. It's never a good idea to begin a creative project because someone else told you that you "should." That energy isn't strong enough to see it through.

💡 Tip 3: Write what YOU would love to read. Don't force it. Tell a story about something that sparked a new thought or mindset. Use humor. Be real. You can even repeat yourself and use ALL CAPS or cursing. Stop worrying about the grammar police. Readers can feel your energy so keep it set to AWESOME.

💡 Tip 4: Vary your sentence length. That's it. Readers get very bored very fast if every single sentence is four lines long and has eight digressions. They'll also get annoyed if every sentence is just two words. Mix it up.

💡 Tip 5: Be willing to write your manuscript without being committed to any result: i.e., a certain level of sales or what the book will do for you.

💡 Tip 6: Write with generosity. Be the Santa Claus of stories. Give, give, give. There is something so brave and wonderful about letting others know you and benefit from your experiences.

💡 Tip 7: Don't pretend. Be you. Be honest. I'm not saying you need to share every thought or experience you've ever had. Discernment is an important part of writing, and we all have very tender unhealed aspects of ourselves that we need to keep private. That said, people will connect with your writing if you fully own who you are, even the not-so-great parts. We are touched when another person takes the time to share what's really been going on with them and what they learned from it.

💡 Tip 8: Think about hiring a collaborator, a coach or an editor. If that doesn't feel right, consider participating in a writers' critique group. Writing can be isolating, so make a plan to deal with that fact. Don't struggle alone. Ask yourself, "What would make writing this book feel like a joy for me?"

💡 Tip 9: When it eventually comes time to choose a title and a cover, don't grab onto the first idea you have or any old image someone offers you. There are a lot of books published each year, so your title and cover had better sing.

📌 I have opinions on this; message me.

💡 Tip 10: Let go. You *never know* what part of your story is going to spark. It's seriously weird. I always think I know what's going to resonate, but I'm constantly surprised. The only thing you can control is the practice, the daily or weekly habit of doing the work. Your role as a creator has a spiritual component, so let forces beyond your control take over.

That's it!

Here is a photo of me from when I was 10 to go with this post, just because I like it.

What's YOUR favorite first draft writing tip?

Please share!

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