I think a lot of writers have that one unfinished manuscript that they keep working away on every once in awhile. I can definitely relate to this because I’m a horrible procrastinator with commitment issues, so finishing a novel seemed like an impossible task for me. However, I was abroad the past summer and had some free time on my hands, and I did the old trick of giving myself a set number of words I needed to write each day. Surprisingly, that worked and now I can say that my young adult novel is finally complete! In today’s world, the process of writing a book for yourself is completely different than when you have an agent standing behind your back telling you what you need to change. Unfortunately, writing a novel and selling it seems to be two different things now. The length, the topic, the language all have to be in accordance with what is popular on the market. However, I wrote my first novel solely for myself, and here are the thoughts that I had while I was working on it.
- I want to re-read this scene over and over again.
We all put a little bit of ourselves in our writing. There are certain parts that are magical and that conjure up memories, which inspired the specific scenes. Or maybe the section is just so well written that we inspire ourselves when we read it over and over again.
- I don’t want to remove this whole chapter.
Editing is a tough process. This becomes even harder when you are writing a book for a number of years already. You change as a person and your writing changes as well. Maybe something that seemed relevant to you a year ago, might make no sense when you go back to re-read it.
- I kind of hate/love how this character turned out.
To me, a book is a living, breathing thing. It takes on a life of its own, and I get so caught up in the action and the characters that they start to sway away from the original idea or plot line. Maybe I just have a good imagination, but I have caught myself realizing that the characters that I write about have developed their own personalities that are different than what I had in mind.
- I think I should never let anyone look at this.
We all have moments of self-doubt. At times, I want to burn everything that I have ever written because it seems not good enough. Writing a book is that much more difficult because you spend so much time and effort only to be disappointed with the outcome.
- This is amazing! I think I might be a genius!
On the other hand, there are times when we consider ourselves literate geniuses and no one can say otherwise. Especially, if you go back to read something that seems to not need any edits, you might be pleasantly surprised at how well you write. (But don’t be deceived because everything needs edits)
- I just went on a tangent here.
When I write, it is easy for me to go on a rant. I just bang at my keyboard, spurting words out onto the screen. I find whole paragraphs talking about the same thing that should have been cut down to a sentence and a half. It’s so easy to get carried away when you are in the moment and doing something you are passionate about.
- I just want to QUIT!!!
Despair, sleepless nights, and writer’s block are just some of the roadblocks when it comes to writing a novel. Quitting seems like the easiest way out of it. However, never quit, it will all be worth it in the end when you finally get to feel the accomplishment of finishing something that has a part of you in it.
- Hey, that wasn’t that bad!
When you are finally done (the whole novel or just a chapter that was hard to pump out) the whole process of writing doesn’t seem like such a hard task after all. And before you can even catch a breath, you’re onto the next one!
I have learned over the years that writing is not for everyone. When I was younger it would boggle my mind how someone could not enjoy writing. Finishing your first novel can be a real mission but at the end of the day, all the hard effort is worth it when you see the finished product, even if you just did it for yourself.
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