By Julie Wright
Stephen King wrote a book called On Writing that is a dang good source on--well . . . writing. I recommend getting your own copy so you can use it for reference after you finish it from cover to cover. In this book he talked about writing your first draft, and then your second, and all subsequent drafts.
King said the first time you write a book, you should write with the door closed. This is the draft where you pour out your little scribbling heart with anything and everything. In this draft it's okay to be corny and a little over dramatic. With this draft, the important thing is to just get it down on paper (or on computer). The idea of the door being closed is knowing that you're writing it with no one else looking over your shoulder.
The second draft is where you write with the door open. This means that you edit and rewrite, cut and refine--and all this with the idea that the whole world *is* reading the manuscript over your shoulder. This is where you write for publication.
I have to admit, I write with the door wide open every time. I didn’t used to . . . not until I had my second book published. But now, I write knowing that anyone in the world could be looking over my shoulder at any time. I don’t know if this makes me a better writer or a worse one. But what I do know is that the journey of a writer is tough.
It’s hard to get started because you’re so afraid of what others might think. In the beginning, the concept of writing just for me liberated my writer’s soul. I was able to finish whole books because I wasn't doing it to please anyone else. I wrote to please me . . . with my door firmly shut.
So if you’re having trouble jump starting your writing because you’re afraid of what others might think—don’t worry about it—just kick the door closed, settle into a chair, and get it done. No one's looking--I promise.