Trying to write a novel is daunting enough.
Declaring to the world that one is writing a novel is a type of social servitude. I am now committed to writing the damn thing.
But the real problem at this point is….telling my story.
Here’s my dilemma: I have something to say, and I believe that I am a good writer. But I’m just not sure my story is good enough.
I love books. I love holding books. I love smelling books. I love talking about books. And of course, I love reading books. But I am also the first person to judge a book if the writing is bad (Fifty Shades of Gray, I’m talking to you) or if the story is blah (there are plenty out there). So now that I’m writing my own book, I am realizing that it’s hard. I mean, really hard.
The premise of my novel came to me a while ago, so I went with it and fleshed it out a bit to create a story. And I’ve been writing, putting words on paper (actually a computer!) for over a year. Maybe only a little bit each day, but it adds up to a lot of writing over time. My “word count” is increasing, which means my book is moving along. The problem is, I don’t know if my story is any good. I’m assuming this kind of doubt is normal for a new novelist. It just doesn’t help with the process.
I’ve always wanted to write a novel. It’s been a bucket list item for years. And I always thought I was a good writer. But being a good writer doesn’t necessarily mean I can tell a good story. There is a HUGE difference between these two things. I am realizing this now. And I’m wondering if I’ve got what it takes.
We are all victims of and champions for our talent. Writing is something I was born to do, have to do, for better or worse (although I consider myself above average!). I just don’t know if I’m a very good storyteller. I always have ideas, but they are not usually well-developed, and I’m not even sure they are interesting to the average person. As a novel-writer, I’m not sure which is more important: the ability to tell a story, or the ability to tell a story well. I would love to think that I was blessed with both abilities. But I am not so sure.
Is my story good enough? Is my writing strong enough to carry a so-so story? How can I make it better? Are these normal struggles for the would-be novelist? Am I kidding myself that I can actually write something that would appeal to the masses? Will I be able to see this process through to the end?
The overwhelming support I have received from family and friends in this endeavor has been utterly amazing. It means more than you could possibly know. I am humbled by your enthusiasm as I try to do this. Many are congratulating me for doing nothing more than claiming that I am writing a book! I love your faith!
But at the end of the day, it is the faith in myself that will carry me through. I declared that I was going to write a novel, and in doing so, I have committed. To you, to me, to the world. So I’ll push through these doubts and charge forward. Word by word.