In an interview with Author Renee Swindle blog Author Amy Sue Nathan described writing a novel like " Swimming upstream but in warm, crystal clear water."
In my opinion writing a novel is like learning to swim. I remember being seven or eight years old and terrified of the water. I was so scared of water that I even hated getting my hair washed. One summer my cousin, sister, and I went to the public pool. We were having fun splashing in the water, kicking our feet, and just playing with each other. On this particular summer a life guard volunteered to teach us how to swim. I was nervous and I immediately declined. Somehow someway I was pushed into participating and learning to trust the lifeguard. Every time my head went underneath the water I would panic and want to give up. The lifeguard was patient and kind. The more I fought the harder she pushed me to stay focused. Eventually I got the hang of it and before the summer was over I learned how to swim.
That experience is similar to writing a novel. It's relatively safe for me to write short stories and poems to share with my friends and family on Facebook. But, it's a whole other ball game to write a novel. Throughout that summer I wanted to be like the big kids and jump and dive into the deep end of the pool. My enthusiasm for writing makes me want to write a bestseller and publish it immediately. However, I've learned that each is a process. A process of never giving up and trial and error. I'm not going to lie and say the first short story I ever wrote won awards. The only person whom loved it more than me was my mother. She counts. But, deep down inside of me I wanted to play in the big leagues with the big kids a.k.a the best selling authors.
Each summer I worked hard and I became a good swimmer. I never jumped into the twelve feet. Being four feet eleven and in a large body of water way taller than me just did not make sense. But, I progressed out of the shallow area and learned to swim any where else in the swimming pool. The same goes for my writing. I buckled down and began to read a variety of authors, subscribed to the magazines, and practiced. Writing a novel is like swimming. You begin in the shallow area afraid of taking a chance and exploring what else is out there. But, once you build your confidence and trust your gut you can go anywhere. And once you do...you realize it's okay to dive deeper into the unknown. Go ahead and swim towards your dreams!!