1. Writing what you know a lot about/are interested in is a great place to start — there is always room to learn and branch out/expand your horizons once you’re more comfortable.
2. There is no “wrong” way to start writing, as long as you actually physically start writing (your own original arrangements of words, of course).
3. You don’t have to write a novel in a day. Take things one step at a time — slow progress is still progress.
4. You don’t even have to have a goal if that’s going to stress or overwhelm you too much. Keep it simple: Try to write just a little bit at a time at the start and see how things go.
5. Just because it’s hard does not mean it is impossible. If one step feels too hard, slow down and take your time.
6. It’s OK to make mistakes. It’s how we learn.
7. Writing classes, books, and motivational quotes are OK — but you still have to actually sit down and write.
8. Your story doesn’t have to start at the beginning — there is no law that prevents you from writing the ending first.
9. It’s normal to be critical of yourself and your work. But don’t let fear stop you from continuing to move forward. The only way to get better is to keep going.
10. Some days, you aren’t going to feel like writing. But don’t wait for inspiration to “show up.” Write, and inspiration will often meet you halfway.
11. Don’t worry about where you might end up (yet). For now, just focus on getting the words out.
12. Never forget to enjoy the ride. Writing is, as it should be, a journey worth the time.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is an editor and writer, and a 12-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food, and Star Wars.