It all began as a what-if question. The light-bulb moment happened and, “Oh my goodness, I just figured out this awesome idea! This might be the one!”
You spend the rest of the day obsessing over it.
One week later:
“I now see that this is a lot harder than I thought. Well, this is still a great idea. I didn’t know characters were this detailed…”
A month later:
You have worked on characters, setting, and some plot, and you are exhausted with world-building. “First page here I come!”
*staring at computer cursor and wondering if words will just magically appear*
“Words. Words. Words. Words. No, I got nothing.”
Two months later:
“Maybe a prologue would be easier…”
A week later:
“Woah, this is the worst first chapter I’ve written.”
Another month later:
“Oof, how can it be only ten chapters long?!”
Four months later:
“Ugh, I haven’t even started editing!
I guess I’m just not cut out to be a writer.”
The Tragic Tale Of Forgotten Stories
Dear writer, while this might be an exaggerated and not totally accurate example of what writers go through, it’s pretty close to those failed story ideas.
We get that wonderful story idea, work on it, hit that first page sprinting, and then slowly… trail off.
We forget that story idea and try another one. It can be a problem. Raise your hand if you have like ten story ideas hidden in your closet or computer?
Sadly, that writer up there did not finish their story. Instead, they let doubts stay in their way, keeping them from writing the story of their dreams.
They gave up.
If you are here and maybe have been working on your story for a week, a month, or a year, you are not alone.
It’s so tempting to give up and just let the chips fall.
However, did you know that writing a story takes time?
Writers should be the most patient people on the earth. Usually, it takes published authors at least a year to whip out a novel and that’s when they have been practicing for years. Then it might take another year for it actually to get published because the publishing industry is pretty slow. There are queries, agents, and publishing companies that have their own processes to go through.
So don’t freak out if you don’t have a golden manuscript in six months. Being patient is just understanding that craft takes time. You wouldn’t look at a young ballerina who has been dancing for six months and be like, “Good grief, why are you not a prima ballerina?”
You wouldn’t yell at a preschooler learning their numbers and say, “I thought you’ve been doing this for a couple of months. Why is there no calculus?”
You see I’ve been through the same thing. It’s almost been a whole year since I got the story idea I’ve been working on. So far, I’ve re-written the second half almost three different times and still have been editing it. In the beginning, I thought that a story shouldn’t take this long. You just… write and it’s there.
That’s not the case.
Writing is an art, a job, a passion. Passion takes time. Yes, totally set goals for yourself. My goal is to finish at least the draft by my birthday. I’ve looked at my schedule and figured out realistic ways to finish my book.
So create a goal, write a story, and be patient.
Mastery is the result of time.