Writing can be one of the most difficult things to do, especially if you’re trying to do it well. Putting words on paper, or typing them onto a computer screen can be easy if you don’t really care about what you’re writing. Or you have a knack for words. Or you’re commenting on a Facebook post, Tweet, Instagram post, whatever else there is. Usually you don’t care too much about exactly what you say so it’s easy to type “cute hairstyle!” or “that looks awesome!”.
Even when writing an article, sometimes you know exactly what the publisher is looking for and your topic isn’t too open for variations. And in my least favourite case, if you’re writing a fiction novel but it doesn’t really matter to you what the outcome is…it can be very easy to come up with a generic storyline and characters, a predictable twist/ending, and send it off to an agent or publishing house. Or even better, publish it yourself where it’s as easy as clicking a button and presto…you’re a self-published author.
However, when you have an idea in your mind and it’s been there for years, to the point that you have dozens of characters all with their own stories. It gets a lot harder. And unless you’re ready to combat a lot of self-doubt and spend a couple hours trying to write one paragraph perfectly, do not do this.
For some writers, putting words onto paper/typing them onto a screen comes easier than for others. Some writers have that flare with metaphors or describing a sunset, they’re so good that you can imagine exactly what the characters are seeing. Some are amazing at characters, enough that you start to believe these are real people and you might even mention them as if they live close to you.
Some writers, like me, are good at telling a story. Which means we know how to make a story flow, and days or weeks may have passed in our story but everything will be cohesive. Sometimes, those like me wish we were better at characters so ours felt as real as some from our favourite authors. But, we each have our strong points and we use whatever help we can get. But, I think no matter the writer, if you have an idea in your mind that you’ve been thinking about and creating a world for, possibly over a decade, getting exactly what you see in your mind is frustratingly difficult, if not slightly impossible. I don’t know if authors manage to get the worlds and characters in their imaginations into a novel, exactly how they imagine them.
I often say that the only things harder than writing a great novel with an interesting and exciting plot, and characters so real you could imagine them sitting on a couch beside you, is being/becoming a doctor. Or another job where you only get one shot at something and it’s life or death. Whereas, in writing, hopefully it’s not life or death. But trying to pick the perfect words, out of the hundreds of thousands out there, is enough to make you hate writing. But yet, there’s not much else you’d rather be doing, if you are a writer that is. The good news is that every aspiring author out there knows it’s possible to write an amazing book. Since there are already dozens of them out there. And yes, not every writer will make something as awesome as Game of Thrones, or Harry Potter, or the other immensely popular novels that are actually really good. But, we don’t need to. All we need to do is write what we want to write, get it as close to the world and people in our minds as possible, and hope other people enjoy it. Even if the road to that hopeful time is filled with urges to drink and throw things at the wall. Especially our manuscripts. If you’re a writer working on your novel-baby, I wish you luck and success!