Tuesday Therapy: Write for Yourself

This week’s Tuesday Therapy session comes to you via Karen Miller, prolific storyteller extraordinaire.

By now, most of you probably already know and love Karen’s work — whether it’s her epic fantasies or her Star Wars  and Stargate novels. With fifteen books published since 2005 — that’s right, I said fifteen books in roughly five years — she clearly writes like a fiend. Not only that, she creates rollicking narratives that have entertained thousands of readers all over the world. Needless to say, Karen’s advice to writers suffering from the Tuesdays is invaluable:

To quote the inimitable Terry Pratchett: ‘The first draft is you telling yourself the story.’ That means it doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be finished. You can’t perfect what doesn’t exist.

I really can’t tell you how much I love this, and how useful it is to bear in mind when trying to complete the first draft of a novel. Thanks, Karen!

Karen Miller is the author of the bestselling fantasy duology Kingmaker, Kingbreaker, the fantasy trilogy Godspeaker, the bestselling tie-in novels Stargate SG-1: Alliances and Stargate SG-1: Do No Harm and Star Wars The Clone Wars: Wild Space. Writing as K.E. Mills she is the author of the Rogue Agent series. You can visit her online at www.karenmiller.net.


  1. I did I writing weekend with Fiona McIntosh. She relayed an anecdote from Bryce Courtney that was very similar, along the lines of you can’t edit what isn’t there. I realised on that weekend that what holds me back is the conditioning that says it must be perfect. So now I have 40,000 words, there’s a lot of dreck but I am finding things out along the way. I haven’t gone back and read/edited anything and its working

  2. That’s the hardest part, isn’t it? Not psyching yourself out along the way, allowing yourself to write dross (if necessary) in order to keep the story flowing. I still have a hard time with that one!

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