Advice for the Struggling Novelist

Sometimes it’s hard to write–oh, fine. It’s always hard to write. We lack motivation, ideas, or support from fellow writers; when that happens, it’s tempting to draw a blank and give up.

That’s when we need pep talks to motivate us; it hurts when our passion becomes a challenge. I’m sure you’ve asked at some point in a moment of frustration, Who cares about my story? The short answer is that you do and your soul needs to hear it; however, that answer can’t always beat Writer’s Block.

I’d like to share with you some truths I whisper to myself when I feel like giving up.

  1. You have a story. No one can tell it like you will. It may seem that only you care about the story, but speak up. You might impress a listener so much that they’ll need to read the book, which then becomes a motivator for you to write!
  2. Every story has an audience. Some people might think your idea bizarre, but if you’re brave and stand by it, sooner or later you’ll meet your first fan. It’s true that some stories have larger audiences than others, but having a small audience is not a bad thing. It becomes a strength when your audience is small but devoted.
  3. It’s worth the effort. Sitting down to write a chapter takes tremendous discipline–no one wants to stare at a blank page. But once you’ve finished for the day, you’ll be glad you set an hour aside to write. It might amount to barely a page–but it’s a page more than you had!
  4. Every page counts. They might seem unimpressive when seen on their own, but pages make a book. Write a page a day, gain momentum, and in a month you’ll have made great progress! The idea of spending years on a draft isn’t appealing, but one day you’ll be proud of every moment you invested.
  5. With practice, it gets better. There’s always room for improvement–most days I want to chuck my draft out the window. The only way to improve as a writer is to keep practicing. You’ve got to work hard so a reader closes the book feeling that their time was well spent.

These are things I tell myself when I’m stuck in a rut. Since I’m young, I know there’ll be more of these pep talks to come, and I’ll share them.

I know you have a story to tell, so keep going. Anyone can write; however, to be a good writer you need patience and discipline. Patience because it can be years before you finish, and discipline because it’s hard. If you love your story enough, you’ll find it worth the effort.

Tell that story like only you can.

P.S. I’ll be coming back to this blog post often. I’m human and need reminders of these things as well.

4 thoughts on “Advice for the Struggling Novelist

  1. I feel like I need to whisper these to myself every day that I’m a writer… It’s worth the effort. Right. *nods* Just keep whispering. And I suppose the hope is that you’ll one day believe it, or better, know that’s it’s true without belief.

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