Writing your first novel is sort of like, well — there’s a first time for everything. It’s scary and exciting, and you’re not quite sure if you’re doing it right. Here’s something to remember in getting your first novel onto the page.

You cannot do it wrong.

As a first-time novelist take advantage of this freedom. No one expects anything from you. You’re writing your first novel! Take risks. Try things that have never been done before. And if you fall on your face, it’s OK. You will only be a first-time novelist once. So let it rip. Write with all of the passion and madness in your heart.

And when you are done, begin your second novel. Because your job is not to be a brilliant first-time novelist. Your job is to build a body of work.

This is what every working writer knows, and what every wannabe will never get.

Tell your story. Nothing more.