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When I started writing Tempted to Stay, I honestly had no idea what I was doing. All I really had was an idea in my head and tried to think of other books I’d read and liked and follow a similar formula. Cuz really, when it all comes down to it, there’s a science for everything; music, writing, math, baking, relationships, everything – there’s a science to making it work and you just have to figure out the formula and do it over and over again until you’re so good at it that it’s second nature. It’s just how you get good at shit.

I did a little bit of research into how to write a novel, but the best piece of advice that I garnered was to stop overthinking it and just sit down and write. I was sifting needlessly through all of the wondrous pieces of advice, articles, blogs, and books I could potentially buy, on the internet. I started to second guess myself. So, instead, I turned off my self-doubt and started writing. 

There are tons of writers who swear by an outline. I, personally, enjoy the idea of an outline, but I am a creature of chaos and love just writing off the cuff, so to speak. Tempted to Stay had a lot of different ways it could have gone and in the end I chose the one way that made the most sense to me. After all, I am the writer and I get to do that kind of stuff. 

There were also suggestions about writing down character information to give your people back story and depth. I didn’t do that with this book either and sort of just developed the characteristics as I wrote. I’m sure that if I did do this, it might make for better writing, but it’s too late at this point. The book is written and I’m on to the next!

That’s the other thing; I kept telling myself I would finish the book but I never did over the course of almost 3 1/2 years since I started it. When I finally sat down to finish it, I read through and started piecing it together the way I wanted it to be….and guess what? I realized that it was already finished. It just needed to be arranged in a proper timeline and edited. The story was there! So, what the heck was I waiting for? Who the heck knows!? I sure don’t. I have some ideas as to why, but I think that is worthy of an entirely new blog post.

So, anyway, what I’m trying to get at is this: there is no right or wrong way to start a book. If you feel an urge to write and you have an idea, I wholeheartedly agree with you sitting down with whatever medium you prefer, and do this: Just. Start. Writing. If you don’t do that, you will get nowhere; it’s still just an idea in your head. And where’s the fun in keeping your ideas to yourself? Share them with the world!