I will be the first person to say this about my book. It is not perfect. It will not be perfect and here’s why.
No article, book, novella, poem, blog is perfect. Writing is never going to be perfect ’cause perfection doesn’t exist in the realms of creative expression. Perfection is something everyone strives for but will never receive. There are reasons why teachers never give you 100% on an assignment. There is no such thing as 100%, there is always places to improve.
When it comes to writing, it isn’t as easy as people say it will be. Not only does a writer have to struggle with various voices in their head fighting for attention, but they have to be able to capture the essence of the world in their words. Metaphors come is real handy when writing, since it is easier to compare a scene to a familiar situation/thing than it is to come up with your own ideas.
A writer writes to write. Yes, that’s a proper English sentence. They may have terrible grammar, horrible punctuation, and tells the story rather than shows the story… but it is their passion and dedication to getting a story out that makes them a writer. A writer writes, not for book prizes or recognition from their literary peers – maybe some do – but the majority of writers write to share their story with others. They write not for the attention to fall on them but for their work to fall into the hands of those around them. Writers write to feed a pool of ever growing and changing expression, reflecting fiction (or non-fictional) lives into their reader’s lives.
You know you have the passion if you continue to write even with understanding how hard writing actually is.
And yes, writing is hard.
Writers normally start with an idea. Ideas are great and easy things, but it is building on those ideas and bringing them to life that becomes the real challenge. Setting, characters, conflict… they are all outlined but there are still pages worth of unanswered questions and loopholes in your scenes that you didn’t think of until you’ve reached a part in your story where the loophole is a crater blocking you from the other side of your thought train. Working through the loopholes, you then discover your character isn’t really the way you want, or the scene isn’t the way you want, or something else isn’t the way you want. You change everything until you have finished your first draft.
Once you have built those ideas to a level you think is comprehensible you then go into the editing stages. EDITING IS HELL but it is worth every second you spend. Like a pottery maker (bear with this metaphor), writers mould and change their story. Sometimes they add too much making their work collapse into muck, or too little making it hard to cook in a kilm and you end up with a weird clump of nothing. Sometimes though, when finding that balance the piece you desire is formed. Editing gives the writer a chance to see their works potential and scrap away the extra bits until they have a smooth surface where they can paint on their final lavishing touches.
As a writer you don’t need to be perfect. As a writer you will never be perfect, but if you keep with it and are passionate about it you will grow. All you have to do is find an idea that keeps a tight hold on you and run with it. Even the smallest/ simplest ideas can make wonderful reads.
Don’t strive for perfection when writing, strive for perseverance.