This past November I attempted NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). The challenge: Write a 50,000 word novel in a month. So, I started my second novel in a YA series. Did I do it? Not even close. I was shy 10,000 words, give or take a few hundred. Why? Well, I started ten days late, and I have two small children and a full time teaching gig, oh, and I was teaching two classes over the regular five. However, I persevered through the holidays, and finished my second novel at the beginning of January.
The result- I LOVE my book. I pushed myself to the absolute limit with this one. While writing it, I asked myself numerous times- 'should I really go there?' The answer in my head was always a resounding, 'Yes! If you are going to do this, just do it.'
So, I did. I wrote the hell out of this one. The feeling I got when I typed my last few words was elation and the satisfaction that I didn't hold back. I pushed, and I pushed even harder. Then, just when I thought I was going too far, I told myself, even if the reader hates my characters for what they do, they can't say it was boring or that it didn't evoke feeling.
Here's the bottom line. If you write, write hard. It's not going to be easy, it never is. Push yourself, push harder. There is always more to write, and you can always dig deeper. When you do that, when you truly know that you gave it everything you have, the outcome is so unbelievably satisfying, that you don't even care if your critics hate it.
Then when you read it through, looking for mistakes, inconsistencies, and the like, you find yourself moved by the story, the writing elegant, drawing you in on an intimate level. The only question forming in you mind is- Who wrote this?
The answer- I did.