Skip to main content

The Novelist's Journey--Is It Worth It????


The other day my mother-in-law informed me that she wanted to write a novel.  Her enthusiasm and passion about the project caused me to think back on my own experience as a writer.  To say the least, my journey has certainly been filled with lots of ups and downs.

Heck, how I got through the first year still boggles me. I dove into my project head first and completed the entire draft within ten months. Then, without editing the piece, I proudly posted the story on an online critique site, half expecting the reviewers to gush over it.  Needless to say,  I was sorely disappointed by the feedback I received.  I learned there were enough point of view shifts to inflict whiplash on a reader.  My plot had more holes than a warehouse filled with Swiss cheese, and the characters were one-dimensional.

Essentially, my grasp of the basic fundamentals of fiction writing was nonexistent. After licking my wounds for about three months, I realized I missed the craft. The experience of creating a whole new universe filled with eclectic characters and intriguing places (at least in my eyes), somehow completed me.   I also accepted the reality that my novel may never be published. If I took on the project again it had to be for personal enrichment.

As a competitive person, I refused to put myself in the position of producing another poorly written draft. My ego could only take so many beatings.  I purchased several "How to" books,read them from front to back, took a couple of online workshops and practiced, practiced, practiced.  When I felt confident in my abilities (after about 6 months of trial and error), I began the second draft. A year later, I submitted the finished product to the same online critique site where I'd posted the original. The feedback I received was light years from the previous reviews. I am now finishing the third draft and IMHO it is much better than the second.

In retrospect, I could have avoided a lot of heartache if I had taken a few workshops and bought the "how to" books first.  In fact, I'd probably be halfway through my second novel by now.  However, I would have also missed the experience that turned me into a more resilient, strong and tenacious writer. The humbling journey helped me to realize my passion for the craft.  For this reason alone, I wouldn't change a thing.  

Posting my experience here also got me to wondering about other writers. I'd be interested to know how you became secure enough to write your novel.  What was your journey like? Do you feel it was worth it, would you do it again or would you change some things? Until next time, happy writing.      





Popular posts from this blog

Opinions Pleaaaaaase!!!!!

Hello All,

I recently began a new WIP.  Although I'm happy with my outline, I've struggled with the beginning. This said, I wrote two opening paragraphs. Both lead to the same place, but they take a very different paths to get there. I just can't decide which one I like better.  If you have a minute or two, I'd  appreciate it if you'd give your opinion. Which paragraph would keep you reading?  Also, please be mindful that these are very raw first drafts.  I'd be happy to return the favor anytime.  Thanks in advance for your help.

Opening #1A cold chill broke across my arms when he entered the room. It happened every time I saw him. By now you'd think I'd be used to him Yet, here I sat, dreading his very presence. You see, to everyone else he was a man of flesh and blood. A man who devoted his life to treating the sick.  To me, he was Doom—bringing false hope to the incurable—deliverer of tragedy, ready to do his worst.  My dad and I had been confronted…

Flexing My Writing Muscles

Hello all, it's time for another installment of the ISWG hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh. For more information about this group, please click on the following link: Insecure Writer's Support Group

First of all, I want to wish each and everyone of you a happy New Year. In my experience people reserve their first post for NY resolutions, etc, but I've decided not to bore you with promises.  What I will say is I'm looking forward to a fresh start--New Year, New Me.

Due to all the stress that comes with returning to nursing school, I haven't written at all. However,  I did make it to my writer's group last month.  After missing three months of meetings, I felt a little out of sorts.  The sense of familiarity and comradery I usually encountered with the members was somehow off   I didn't let it get me down.  Instead, in the spirit of the New Year, New Me thing, I endeavored not to miss anymore meetings.  I've also come up with an idea for a short story.  It'…

From The Dust Marinade to a Gourmet Work of Fiction

Hello all, it's time for another installment of the Insecure Writer's Group, hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh.  To learn more about this wonderful membership please click on the preceding link.


After several weeks of juggling family and nursing school, I finally get a much needed break. Specifically, Spring Break. Woo hoo!!!! Unlike some students who go wild during this time and head to the beach for fun in the sun, I plan to hunker down at my desk and catch up on my writing. It's been a month since I've written anything, and I'm jonesing to escape into my world of fiction.

My short story is about two-thirds complete. If all goes according to plan, I hope to have it done by the end of next week. Then I intend to pull my first novel from its dust marinade,  and return it to the writing kitchen, where I hope to create a gourmet work of fiction.  If I can find the time.

Once school resumes, every second of every day is consumed by my studies. I truly feel like a fish out…