The Tremendous Joy of Finishing A Novel

Novel writing is amazing. It can be difficult and frustrating. There will be times when you’ll want to scream at your screen, and other times you’ll just stare at it hoping the continuous blinking of the cursor will bring some inspiration. Especially when you have to write a 50,000-word novel and you only have the first three chapters. I’m currently working on a few new projects, and this is where I’m at now. This always happens when I get overwhelmed.

A couple of months ago, this young man I like a lot told me about a local writing competition. It had always been a dream of mine to enter my art into a writing competition. Part of me was so excited about it, the other part not so much. See, I don’t have a literary degree and don’t know the first thing about writing a good book. I was very intimidated.

But then I thought, “You know, it’s high time you finished a novel. You have at least five unfinished ones, now is the time to do it. Don’t become a shoulda-woulda-coulda.”

And also, after all the crap I read on the ePub site, I know there is a market for everyone! There is a market for underdeveloped characters, bad pacing, Alpha-douche-hole-fuckwad-asshole heroes, also for stupid-virgins-who-think-all-dicks-are-huge-and-make-me-want-to-barf kind of heroines, you name it.

I wrote a novel I’d been working on for years now. Thirteen years, to be exact. It took me THIRTEEN puta madre years to finally finish this novel. A part of me wants to say it was because I had no real reason for finishing it, but I know it was because of fear.

Fear of the looks that I would get (and have gotten) when people ask me what my job is. Picture this conversation:

“So what do you do?”
“I am a writer.”
“Okay, that’s cute. But what do you REALLY do?”

“I really am a writer. That’s my job.”
“Oh! Have you published anything yet?”
“Not yet, but I do have some stuff in the works.”
“Great, so what’s your book about?”
“I write different genres. I’ve written a memoir and I am now working on a contemporary romance novel.”
“So, like a Fifty Shades of Grey kind of romance?”
“No, I don’t write shit.”
“Do you think your book will sell?”
“I don’t know, we’ll see.”
(Awkward pause) “Okay, good luck with that.”

Can you imagine having this conversation every single time someone asks you about your job?

If you ever see me somewhere and you want to ask me about my career/job, read this article first. Seriously, I’m tired of these types of conversations and people telling me, “You know, most writers don’t make any money from their writing. Just so you know.” Meaning: Find a REAL job!

If you are one of those people who think writing a book doesn’t take up a lot time and a lot of work… write one and get back to me.

I mostly write about my writing here. Almost no one reads this blog, so I don’t care. But honestly, since I’ve taken the time to think about what kind of career I want & what type of life will make me happy, I don’t care.

Since two days ago, I don’t care if people think I’m crazy for pursuing this fulltime and wanting to make a career out of it. You never know what you can do until you try. And let me tell ya, I will try my hardest. At least I did something I love and believe in, if only for a while. I did it. How many people can say the same? Not many people I know, that’s for sure.

I’m going to follow my dreams because my biggest fear is waking up ten years from now and hating the life I chose to live because I lacked the courage to go against the grain and do what makes me happy.

Not many people will understand my choice. And that’s fine because I don’t owe anyone an explanation. As long as it makes sense to me, all is well. I’ve tried it before in the past, I didn’t succeed because I didn’t have the mindset I have now. In the past, I was too fucking insecure and I so wanted everyone’s approval. Now? I really could give two fucks what people think. It’s my life. Fuck your opinions and mind ya fuckin’ business.

So… I did it! I finally finished my first contemporary novel. For me, it was best to write what I know. Something I know my readers will relate to. When the target audience identifies with the protagonist, they become her. Her experiences become their experiences. They are emotionally invested. That’s what I wanted and that’s what I did. And I succeeded.

Let’s hope the judges feel the same way. Finishing that book left me on cloud nine, and I really want to win.

My story isn’t original, it has been done before. But the voice is original. My heroine is a fucking badass. And, she is HILARIOUS! My novel adheres to the basic structure of a book, character development and contrasts, what-have-you. If it is down to structure, I know I killed it. The story idea isn’t original, but it’s not a DOA trope.

Her voice is unique, and I love her. My beta readers also love her. To be honest, I love this novel.

I love her because she is me. Well, part of her is me. I incorporated so much of my own life into her, that she kind of is me. Well, she’s not fully me, because I also gave her traits of people I know (some of my cousins & friends, LOL). It’s up to them to recognize themselves in her, I’m soo looking forward to this. A lot of the novel is embellished and imagined, so it does count as fiction.

When you read my book, I’ll leave it up to you to decide which story is fiction and which isn’t. Have I mentioned how I love a good mindfuck? Not in the romance department, but this is fiction… or is it?

I am extremely happy and so proud of myself that I tried something new. Let’s see where this new journey takes me. The feeling I have in my gut tells me that it will be quite the journey! And I’m looking forward to it.

I’m mostly looking forward to having my work judged by my peers. These are fellow Surinamese authors with established careers and fame in their own right.

I am looking forward to it. The results will be in by the end of november. Until then… I’ll keep writing, because I have other deadlines and goals I have to meet.

Tiara Ray

I am grateful & blessed to have the life I live. (Soon to be) Traditionally published & self-published author in her mid-thirties. I unsuccessfully tried changing this picture numerous times, so I just left it. I wish you lots of love & may you get what you need. <3

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