I have a confession to make. The first book I wrote? It was bad. REALLY BAD.
Sometimes people tell me, “oh it can’t be that bad - you should revise it.” No, trust me. It really was that bad. I'm talking epic levels of badness here.
Even though the book was terrible and I knew I'd never revise it, I don't regret writing it. Finishing that novel taught me more about writing than anything else I've done - which is why I want to stress how important it is for writers to finish that novel they are working on right now.
Until you finish your first novel you can't fully understand the ups and downs of getting to that ending, and the amazing feeling you'll get when you type THE END!
Even if your book is horrible, even if you will never revise it, even if you have to revise it ten times before it gets good - it doesn't matter. Because you know what? YOU WROTE A NOVEL!
Just finishing your novel puts you ahead of most aspiring authors out there. And when things get hard in your life, or you want to do something that scares you, you can look back and think, "writing a book was hard too and I did that," and suddenly the world seems a little less daunting.
The process of finishing your novel will change you and teach you so many things about yourself and your writing. You can take tons of classes, and critique other people's work, and read a hundred agent blogs, but none of that can make up for the experience of persevering through an entire book and getting to the end.
I know finishing a book is hard. You get bored, you get new ideas, you don't have time, you think you're the worst writer in the history of the universe. Trust me, I've been there. I'm there right now, trying to finish this first draft. But we can't give up. We have to make it to the end.
No one is going to publish your unfinished book. If you want to be a writer, you have to finish that first draft. Yes, it is going to suck. It doesn't matter - finish it anyway. Then let me know when you're done and I'll raise a glass of wine in your honor... and then we can moan about rewrites.