Mistakes I’ve Made While Writing My First Book


by Manas Patil


The biggest mistake one can make while writing a book is to give up. Writing a book can be exciting yet challenging at the same time, we’ve all been there. I almost gave up before my draft made it to an editor. But I did finish. Though I did finish my first book, I made a few blunders that I could’ve avoided from the start.

The first mistake was trying to edit while writing.


Write First, Edit Later

You may love writing, but the journey of writing a whole book can make you feel lost at times. It’s natural. I thought it best to perfect my first draft while writing, with which I ended up more lost. Not only did it waste a lot of my time, but the quality of my writing also went down. I was making edits to the first chapter while writing my fifth.

It doesn’t matter if you mess up your characters or even make conflicting events, go ahead and finish your draft first. If you’re writing a novel, writing a good 50k+ word book is a daunting task. You’re bound to make mistakes. Sometimes, you even think of shuffling parts of your manuscript. All this can be done with more focus once you have all parts ready.

So focus more on the draft first, you’ll have time for your editing work later.


Take Breaks

I decided to put in the best of my efforts with deadlines for each chapter and so. What I didn’t plan were the small breaks I needed. I’d wake up and go to bed only thinking of what would fit in best for the next chapter. Toward the final chapters, finally getting tired of the same characters circling my mind, I decided to take time off.

After playing the guitar the whole morning and meeting up with a couple of friends in the evening, I sat down to write the following day. Along with a fresh mind, I’d also fresher ideas to fabricate my words into sentences. Oh, how I wished I’d taken these breaks earlier!

A one-day break worked out great for me. However, it differs from writer to writer. Some can use a few days gap while others take a half-hour walk and come back to their story – whichever works best.


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Set a Time To Write

There were deadlines I set myself alright. The only aim was to abide by it. There was no plan of when and how I was going to execute. Sometimes I’d write at an ideal time – early

morning with a cup of tea. Other times I’d sit through the night and doze off at dawn. Apart from physical health, it deeply affected my creativity.

Being humans, we can’t run like computers – turn on and off at any given time. Even if you write only twice or thrice a week, sit down at a particular time. We all have that time when we wake ourselves up out of the blue with a fantastic idea to pen down. Some of us take out our laptops to start right away, afraid we might forget it later. Sure, it’s great to note it down, but don’t write it.

A scribble of the idea will do. Develop the idea further when you sit down to write the next time.



It’s easy to start writing a book. But it takes effort to come to its end. These are the obstacles I came across while writing. Now that I know where I’d been wrong, it’ll be easier to write my next book. Different people deal with different things. There’s a lot more when it comes to keeping yourself motivated and to bring out the best version of your story.

But bottom line, with my personal experience, these are the things you need to address while writing.




Guest Post contributed by Manas Patil. He adores reading literary works, writing short stories, and finished writing his first novella not long ago. With a fondness for travel, he also runs a blog focusing on the niches – Travel and Writing. Learn more at manaspatil.com.

6 thoughts on “Mistakes I’ve Made While Writing My First Book

  1. The #1 lesson I learned? Don’t write a novel until you’ve written a couple of hundred thousand words in practice. Until you’ve written at least a 200,000+ words, your skill will be unrefined, noobestent. sophomoric, crappy.
    #2 don’t start with your best idea. Your first novel will suck — can’t be helped. So, why waste your best idea(s) on suckage?
    #3 do NOT plan a series for your first novel.
    #4 do NOT think that you can get your first novel published. Write it. Edit as you go or not. Get a vicious critic and have them read it for content. Get a strict copy editor for the grammar, spelling, sentence structure. Read it 15+ times yourself and then SELF-PUBLISH it. It will feel good to get a hard copy in your hands. You can send copies to your family (whom you will never hear from again after this “gift”/”curse”). But, write it and put it behind you. (The query process will crush you, I promise.)
    #5 know that somewhere between 150,000 and 500,000 NEW novels are published every year (nobody knows the exact numbers). Plus, you will be competing with decades of prior novels released (they don’t just disappear every year). Realistically, 10, 20, 50? million novels exist in the world for readers to choose from. They will NOT choose yours.
    #6 write a variety of genres, lengths, formats, and venues.
    $7 write to perfect your skill, write to have written the perfect sentence.
    #8 do NOT write for vindication, fame or money.
    #9 write because you have stories to tell, regardless if anyone ever reads them.
    #10 write because it’s who you are.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the this. I’m working on my second novel, with a some changes in practices from the first. However, I always find I write creatively best in the mornings. If I am writing for over an hour, I get up to put a load of laundry in, do some dishes, grab more coffee and sit back down. These short breaks are vital and I have learned not to force the process.


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