Some people plan ahead their and outline their novels, others just jump in a wing it.Experiment, start with something and see what works for you.
Try to show up for your characters. It's not important how you do it, as long as you do it.
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When you feel a bit stuck, and walking the dog or organizing the closet doesn't help, speak to a friend with a different way of thinking. Or talk to a friend who's writing a book.aaa
You don't just have to stick to friends. Reach out to other writers who can talk through any issue you're having with your book.
Reading helps you find out what you like and enables you to refine your own voice.
Reading will influence you, but your voice will always be your own.
Having an accountability partner can be helpful to provide a different perspective and tell you when you've gotten something wrong.
Maybe your prose is clunky, or perhaps your characters are stereotypical. If you're writing outside of your experience, you should know why you're doing it. Even if you do the research, discussion, bringing other people into your work, you might still get something wrong.
If you write, you're a real writer. Whether you write poetry, fanfiction, letters to yourself, a description of experience - if you tell a story, you are the real deal.
Just write, and you'll find yourself writing a book.
When you want to write a book, reading helps you figure out what you like. Reading good writers can help you make your own voice better.
The first words you write are the first draft. Writing is thinking. You'll rarely know what exactly you want to say when you start writing.
The time you put into editing, reworking and refining turns your first draft into a second draft, and then into a third. If you keep refining it over days or weeks or even years, it eventually becomes something great.