If you've ever had a conversation with anyone, ever, you've probably come across the "I should write a book" line several times. I've said it, my friends have said it, and it usually arises from some tribulation one is currently undergoing or if you're relaying previous life events to someone else.
I always wanted to write a book, but not a personal biography or anything of the sorts. I wanted to be creative and create an original story, with vivid characters and environments that entrap readers. That was and is my goal, but wow, it is so difficult.
I recently spoke with someone who actually took the initiative to actually write a book about themselves and he surprisingly said that it wasn't arduous to detail and organize his ideas and thoughts of his life into a novel, but rather it was what came after he had completed it that presented difficulties.
He kept telling me about all the revised editions of his book he had wrote and the constant back and forth between editors, publishers, and himself to perfect the book into the best version of it. He had to contact someone to take pictures and preview ideas for the book's cover, and the whole process is quite long. In the year he had taken to himself to write and complete his book, he had actually finished it within the six month period and the remaining time was dedicated to simply revising.
When I received this man's input, I had already begun my own book (still far from complete, by the way) and became hypercritical of myself. Will it take me just as long to perfect something I already deem to be done? I began analyzing everything I had written and going back to fix it non-stop, so much so that it had halted the progress I had with the book. After quite some time of this, I realized that I was going the wrong way about it.
I was fearing the critique and revisions of others before I even finished, which would only serve to harm me later on. Trying to ignore my self-critical nature, I just wrote, without worrying too much about structure all the time, because the role of editors is to assist you in the process of perfection after all. Writing a novel is more than just independent work, after all.
Writer's block is also a very real occurrence. I couldn't formulate the right words and sentences to perfectly grasp the concept in my mind or the right description of what I imagined. I found ways to go around it such as trying my hand at song-writing or poems because those can be free-verse and come from your own personal ramblings and thoughts.
Just throw ideas together but more cohesively than an idea board and some might actually stick. Reading books or just taking some time to relax and refresh yourself are also beneficial. At this point, I definitely began acknowledging the challenges that published authors might feel.
Again, I may not be there yet, but I hope to be one day, whenever I finish this novel. I'd say, until you have a big portion or at least better chunks of your work done, don't try to get other people to revise it yet. You might not be ready for that level of critique and it'll only damper your progress if you do it too soon. This relates to what I said about also being self-critical of the work. Don't worry, just write.
I often find that sometimes my best ideas arise from just being carefree about my own feelings and letting stress fade away. The less I stress, the better I can cohesively create fluidity in my story.
Overall, writing a novel is a challenge, and perhaps it may not be for everyone, but that doesn't mean that it's impossible to anyone. We all have the ability, you just have to overcome the process and your own internal struggle. I hope that I can follow my own advice, and I hope you readers can too.