The novel I’m writing at the moment has been with me for a long time. I originally had the idea back in 2006 when I was taking a creative writing class at university. I attempted to write the novel a couple of times but always ended up chucking it in because it wasn’t coming out the way I wanted it to. I have about 80,000 discarded words laying around and while the 45,000 words I’ve written this time aren’t great, I’ve learnt that I need to keep going, to keep writing. Because otherwise, I’ll never get this novel done.
Which got me thinking about writing and perseverance and how important it is. I think a lot of writers just “give up” when a story isn’t working for them or “give up” after they receive a couple of rejection letters.
I think everyone has this fairytale in their mind that writing and publishing will be hard for everyone else, but easy for them. Which I think is a good view to have, because otherwise the uphill battle might seem a bit too much, but I think at the end of the day, dedication and perseverance is what makes good/successful writers. Because when it all comes down to it, I might write five or six novels before finding an agent… and I’m kind of okay with that.
It’s like what Jodi Picoult said in this interview:
And – here’s a critical part – when you finally start to write something, do not let yourself stop…even when you are convinced it’s the worst garbage ever. This is the biggest caveat for beginning writers. Instead, force yourself to finish what you began, and THEN go back and edit it. If you keep scrapping your beginnings, however, you’ll never know if you can reach an end.