Why “it’s not much” doesn’t matter

My friend sent me a very short video to tell me “it’s not much but I did a thing. It’s like a page of a thing”.

He was talking about the book he’s been working on and that I’ve been trying to help coach him through. He struggles with actually sitting down to write and suffers from a crippling lack of confidence that seems to strike every writer at least once in their lives. Even in this case, his lack of self-confidence was obvious in the way he said “it’s not much” like I was going to grade him on a curve.

“It’s not much” but a page is all you need. Take that page and write another tomorrow, and another one the night after that. Write 500 words here and 500 words there. Tack in a few sticky notes worth 10-50 words each. Dictate into your phone at ass o’clock in the morning (then wonder what the hell you were mumbling around your pillow). Jot down your dreamscape thoughts first thing in the morning and your last thought before you go to bed at night.

Sooner or later, “it’s not much” becomes “holy cow, how did I write 76,000 words in 21 days?” Sooner or later, “it’s not much” becomes a first draft worth revising. Sooner or later, that first draft becomes a second draft worth editing, and a third draft worth showing to your beta. Sooner or later–

Well, do you see where I’m going with this?

It’s not much, but it doesn’t have to be.

Why "it's not much" doesn't matter
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