I wrote 500 words earlier. The first 500 of what I hope will be the best novel ever written, or at least a solid smash hit, or at least a niche success, or at the very least a small book beloved by a handful of people. I wrote the first 500 words and then got up and went to the beach.

Upon returning home, I’ve fixed myself a cup of tea and sat down to reread that first page. Not bad, but perhaps it goes too fast. Maybe I should establish the scene a little better, add some more detail. It’s a bit bare bones at the moment–how much information have I conveyed? And the conversation between Selah and the soldier–does it happen too fast, end too quickly?

Maybe I should write it again. Maybe I should slow it down and rewrite it, taking a little time to describe the world outside the bus window, to–

Maybe I need to know more about Sigur Ros? I mean, what does their name even mean? And I heard that they sing in a made up language, but perhaps it’s just Icelandic?

Suddenly, 500 words in, I’m spinning and wheeling, thinking in tangents, revising, wanting to correct and improve, or at worst to simply do something completely different. This is where writing can get all squiggly in your hands, like trying to hold onto an eel.

Take a breath, crack your knuckles, a solid hit from the mug of tea, and then just keep on going. One word at a time, and leave the revisions to the second draft.

But man. Sometimes it’s hard to take your own advice!