Writing is a (good) mess

There are many myths about writing – mostly formulated by non-writers – that make beginners feeling there is something wrong with them. Many people think that writing a novel is all about having a moment of inspiration, and then it’s just sit down and write it from the beginning to the end.

This leads most of young writers and aspirants to think that if they are writing and facing problems, they (or their story) aren’t good enough.

No problems, no story

Let me tell you this: that idea is very far from the truth. Facing problems and solve them is a natural part of the process. If you write a full novel without facing any problem… Well, you’ll probably want to look at it again, because that’s very odd.

It can be something in the plot, a character that doesn’t seem that real, or some technical imprecisions with any detail. There is always something that can’t work as we thought.

Our imagination works faster than our logical thinking. Said so, the most normal is for you to have to deal with a few loose ends.

And why not?

As frustrating as it can be, the truth is that there is no point in doing it on the first try. Your readers will have no idea how many drafts you made or how hard it was the whole process. All that matters is the final version. The one that gets to the bookshelves. And between the first draft and that version, there is a lot of messy work.

You’ll find a tremendous amount of problems to solve (with characters, style, rhythm, the conflict itself). So many different things can be a problem in your novel. And of course, your personal life will not stop because you’re trying to write a book, right? For example, in my case, my daughter doesn’t stop being four years old and behaving as such, because it would help me.

You must imagine good, vivid, exciting scenes and then put them into words – beautiful and interesting ones. This can’t be done in one try! You’ll write and rewrite most of your scenes several times. You go back and forward in your story dozens of times. Many projects will be abandoned, and even more, will arise.

You’ll read hundreds of stories from other writers to analyze them and learn from them. And let me tell you, most of the time, you’ll get desperate, thinking that you’ll never be able to write like them.

Just do it again!

You face so many problems, so many issues in the process of writing, that no one could ever imagine! The only thing to do is to keep going. Keep trying. Write it again. Change everything and start over if you need to.

Writing is a long, somewhat complicated process that can drive you crazy sometimes. Yet, there are good news! You can do it and undo it as many times as you need, and no one needs to know about it.