It takes a lot of courage to stay motivated as an author, but if you love what you’re doing, it’s more fun than hard work. With the popularity and availability of self-publishing and e-publishing, many more writers have the opportunity to get their stories out there. There is more competition than ever before and fewer traditional publishers. Millions of books are being published each year, but only a small percentage make a living with their writing.
Why do we do it? Because we like to tell stories. It’s our craft, our passion, and defines who we are. It is said that everyone has a story inside him or her. I can see that. I have many ideas, yet I’m unsure if there’s enough meat for a whole novel. Maybe a short story would work best for some. But many never write their story down or they fill notebooks with ideas but are afraid or embarrassed to proceed. It takes courage to follow a story to the end. And when you do reach the end, you wonder:
“What if no one will publish it?”
“What if readers don’t like my story?”
“What if I can’t find a satisfying finish to my story?”
There is so much more to writing than just having an idea. The expression of that idea, the investment in the characters, plot, and flow is similar to giving birth. Something wonderful is happening and someday it will be mature enough to breathe on its own. It takes months and months to complete a novel. You need to create characters that fly off the page, and who your readers will care about and not want to leave. Your main characters must be likeable but with flaws. If you’re writing romance, your female lead has to be beautiful, with a striking alpha male to go with her. Mysteries give you more leeway for creating people and putting them in dangerous situations. You’re going to want interesting secondary characters, but only in longer works.
You will need other eyes to decide if your novel is good. A critique group can offer positive criticism and support to help you reach a satisfying conclusion to your story. Your novel will need a well-balanced plot. The story line will have to race and peak at certain parts and in other places let readers catch their breaths, but just for a second, before you race toward the showdown at the end.
The thing to remember is you wanted to write. A blank page can look threatening and overwhelming, but if you strike those keys, you will thank yourself later when you see your idea come to fruition.