What have you accomplished in life? Which amazing places have you visited? What are the talents your parents boast of to others?
Perhaps you have obtained “masters” or even “doctorate” degrees in your field of study. Perhaps you have been to Amsterdam, Rome, Spain or some other exotic or historic location. Perhaps you are a talented musician or painter. Perhaps you have a parent who’d tell anyone willing to listen just how awesome you are. We all need that kind of validation. We need to “be seen”.
Why human beings need validation from other human beings is beyond me – it is however what it is. Such is the condition of the human soul.
Perhaps like me you are just an average Jane. Not particularly learned, or extraordinarily talented. That does not mean the girl next door type such as myself does not have aspirations or does not need validation. People find contentment in different manners. Some are happy to be called wife of … and mother of … . I’ve always wanted to be more than simply known by the extraordinary people I associate with. I’ve always wanted to be “great” in my own right. This is a thirst that will not be quenched by spiritual justification.
It’s a crazy notion – I’ve discovered the power of writing. While I’ve lived in my own storybook most of my life the thought of me penning my own novel – it’s like Aliens landing on earth and declaring “world peace”. I don’t have a degree in journalism or creative writing. In 2014 however I found the courage to pen 50k words within a month. That is generally called NaNoWriMo. To me it seemed like Mission Impossible. I however made it and was quite impressed with my achievement. I proudly told my relatives who curiously replied – “wow, that’s great – when will we get to read your novel?” As every author and aspiring author will know – novel writing is not just simply putting down 50k words and wolla you got a novel! No that is simply put – not good enough!
To obtain that validation I so desperately need, I can’t just have any writing – I need readers.
If you truly want readers, then you will need to produce something enjoyable to read. The writing becomes not simply a process of putting down words – writing becomes a process of putting down words for the enjoyment of the reader. Once this has been polished by a process of editing and re-writing only then do you have something worth submitting to an agent and ultimately readers and your already accomplished relatives.
Even then, with the perfectly polished novel – you are more likely to receive rejection letters from agents. Most first time novels don’t succeed. Finding a readership is incredibly difficult in times when the market is overflowing with novel’s and there are fewer readers around. Buying a novel is not only a luxury but in today’s fast-moving world – readers are ever more picky about what they choose to spend their time with.Why then even bother writing a novel in the first place? You could choose to believe what your teachers told you. You could give up before you ever tried.
A baby does not get up one day and suddenly is a star athlete. He does not get up one day and start running. No, he learns to walk by taking the first step – and doing it over again. And only then does he learn to run. Similarly, writing that blockbuster starts with writing that first draft.
If you don’t write that first draft then you will never end up with a novel to submit to an agent. You will never have someone read it. They will never be able to tell you – yay or nay!
We all have our own motivations for wanting to write a novel. Personally I think I have some awesome stories to share. I live stories. However if I don’t write that novel – I will live those tales alone. Like a kiss or a hug, some things only start to make sense once they have been shared with someone else.
So for those doing NaNoWriMo 2015
“You may never know what results come of your actions, but if you do nothing there will be no result” – (Mahatma Gandhi)