Tip 6 – of 8 writing tips from authors who won the Nobel

Don’t focus on the end goal excessively as you write

John Steinbeck writing adviceOf all the writing tips from authors, the advice John Steinbeck gave remains some of the best. In the Fall 1975 issue of The Paris Review (excerpted by The Atlantic here), Steinbeck writes:

‘Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish. Lose track of the 400 pages and write just one page for each day, it helps. Then when it gets finished, you are always surprised.’

It’s easy to feel either impatient or overwhelmed if you focus only on when your novel will be finished. Focus on the task at hand instead. Write just one page today: it’s one more page than you had yesterday. Then write another page tomorrow (continue this approach and your daily page count will likely increase as you gain momentum).

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