Mistake 1: Not Starting

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70 Solutions to Common Writing Mistakes by Bob Mayer from The Writer's Digest Writing Kit

Why this is a mistake: If you don’t start you can never finish. Completing any writing project, particularly a novel, is a daunting prospect. Many people become frozen by the prospect. Others keep waiting for the right time. Some wait for the spark of inspiration. Even experienced writers find it is easier to do anything other than actually write.

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Many people say, “I’ve always wanted to write a novel/how-to book/nonfiction narrative/a magazine article.” They’re called wannabes. Don’t be a wannabe.

The solution:
Start anywhere. While the opening line, page, and chapter of a book is critical, remember you can always change the opening upon rewriting. So after doing the correct preparations (covered further on), pick the best possible start point at the moment
and just begin writing. The right time is now. This minute. The right time can be while sitting in the airport waiting for your flight, which is where I’m writing this.

If you study successful writers, you will find that many began writing
at what appeared to be inopportune times—not when all the stars were lined up and things were perfect. Often they began writing when the timing seemed the absolute worst. This might actually be the best time to write. If you wait for the perfect time, it will never come.

So. You’ve just started reading a book about writing mistakes. If you have always wanted to write but have never written what you want to, you’ve made the first mistake and it’s easily correctable. Open a blank Word document; grab a blank piece of paper and pencil (we’re not that perfect); open a vein and start bleeding onto the page.

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