‘The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.’
These are wise words from Terry Pratchett and serve to help demystify the process of writing.
The kernel of this advice is simple…tell your story!
Some stories you tell quietly to yourself, some you tell your friends, some you commit to paper and some, once committed to paper, you share with others.
It is all storytelling, in one form or another.
However, most importantly with all literary works, is the first impression.
We at Books@One are no stranger to firsts, be that first drafts or first impressions. We are, in essence, a bookstore of firsts.
We are the first bookstore in our little town of Louisburgh, County Mayo. The first social enterprise where we give back to the community. We are the first port of call for a lot of people who want to come in for a chat, to sit with friends, to ‘lig do scíth’ (to relax) with a good book.
As it is with any good first draft, it is just that…a first draft, not a complete work of art by any means, room, constantly for improvement and that is what we at Books@One strive to do. We are always thinking about new ways to reach out to book lovers, to cater for new readers, to provide a place for people to feel at ease.
We are in draft form here, at Books@One, always improving.
And we help those who are also in first, who have just had their first breakthrough, their first big win. Our New Releases feature many brilliant writers, some just beginning on their journey and we are excited to partner them along the way.
Red Dirt by E.M. Reapy, The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney, Love in Row 27 by Eithne Shortall, Have You No Homes to Go To? by Kevin Martin.
So make your first draft as good as it can be. To help -we have some tips.
1. Firstly, you must commit.
Make a decision to write your opus, that romance novel you have been thinking about for the last few years, the history book you have started a few times but never finished. COMMIT to the process of writing, to the project that you feel passionate about.
2. Set Goals
Set goals for writing, targets that you wish to reach. That may be a 300 word daily limits, others commit to 2,000 words a day, whatever works for you, but be consistent.
3.Inspiration in all things.
Take inspiration from various sources, make a play list on Spotify for your project, go visit an art gallery, a museum, the theatre, surround yourself with creative interests to help build your creative muscles.
4. Get in the Zone.
Have a little pep talk with yourself before you start to write. Say out loud what you are committing to. For example, this morning I am going to write 1,000 words. I will not get up from my desk or be distracted until I have completed my word limit for the day. You would be surprised how committing to this action out loud helps you achieve your goal.
5. Just Write
Nobody can help you, writing is a solitary task. There are lots of blog posts you can read, inspiration and technical know how you can accrue but at the end of the day, none of this is going to help you get the job one.
So just start, just write.