As a starting writer it can be really easy to get discouraged. Let’s say you started working on a novel or a short story. One day you wake up and as you sit down to write you realise the amount of work you have to do is so big it overwhelms you.
As if that wasn’t enough, you have no idea what to do next. That annoying voice in your head gets louder and louder, and starts yapping about how much you suck at writing and better give up since you’ll never be as good as that author you admire. So you put the notebook back in the drawer (or close the file on your computer) and let the chattering in your head win.
But have no fear, dear writer, for there is hope. The truth is all writers experience self doubt and discouragement at some point. The best way to deal with it is to keep writing.
One thing that works for me in such situations is to divide and deconstruct the big into smaller pieces and tackle them bit by bit. This way, instead of focusing on the final destination, focus on the smallest, less scarier step that you can do now.
Let’s apply it to a short story. After a first draft, where you’ve poured everything you know on the page, read it through and divide it in scenes or key moments. Then take one scene and work on it or divide it further into smaller parts: it might be a descriptive paragraph or a few lines of dialogue. You may also discover you don’t know much about a character and you need to figure that part first before moving further.
Finally, have in mind that writing is a process which takes time to perfect and lots of revisions.