If you're reading this, you definitely should be writing. If you're anything like me, you have characters and stories in your head all the time. But the hardest part is actually getting those ideas out of your head on into words. Luckily for you, you don't have to wait to start writing your novel. All you need is the motivation and determination to start.
Set a goal and write every day.
Let me introduce you to something called NaNoWriMo. National Novel Writing Month was started up by a group of people who just wanted to write their novels. It takes place in the month of November, and thousands of people come together on the website and write 50,000 words in a month. There's also a July version of the program called Camp NaNoWriMo.
Basically, the goal of NaNoWriMo is to create some discipline in your writing. You have to write 1,600 words a day in order to finish by the end of the month. It's taught me that discipline is absolutely needed in order to bang out a first draft. So many authors advise writers to write every day and it seems simple enough but in practice, it's really hard.
Set a goal for yourself every day and do it. It could be 400 words, or even less. But usually, you will find that once you start it's kinda hard to stop. If you keep writing every day, even if it's a little, you will eventually have yourself a finished first draft.
Don't wait for July or November to start your novel, start it now!
Don't be afraid if your first draft is bad.
My High School English teacher pushed the idea onto us that our first drafts of our essays would be absolutely horrendous. She called it a "shitty first draft" and advised us to come to terms with that fact. The shitty first draft doesn't only apply to essays but is essential for novel writing as well. Your first draft is not meant to be perfect. It will never be. If you think every sentence you're going to write will end up in the finished product, you will be sorely mistaken. In fact, first drafts are nearly unrecognizable from the final draft.
So, why do we need a first draft?
You can't get to a final draft until you bang out a shitty first one. I recently heard a quote from Ed Sheeran that really stuck with me. He compares creativity to dirty water in a faucet, when you turn the faucet on the dirty water keeps rushing out, but the more you keep it on the clearer the water gets. Think if your first draft as the dirty water, you have to keep on writing and creating until the water turns more and more clear.
One thing that's great about NaNoWriMo is the community behind it. If you don't have someone in your life who's willing to do this with you, there are so many people online struggling writing too! The NaNoWriMo website has a lot of forums and links to motivational talks from established authors! I also love listening to authors talk about their process and their advice is spot on.
Find what keeps you motivated. Whether that be someone in your life, or people online. It will be hard but the end result will make it all worth it.
So many of us have incredible ideas for stories, and the hardest part is getting it out there. Don't doubt yourself. Your first draft will never be good, but its a jumping off point. You could keep putting it off, spend day after day telling yourself "I'll start tomorrow". Face it head on, and start writing.
You can't revise something that hasn't been written yet.