Believe in Yourself

11:00 PM

Four years ago, right around this time of the night, I finished my first book.




I remember it vividly. I was sitting at my desk in our school room. It was relatively late at night and everyone was asleep except for my older sister and my dad. The lights were dim. My big purple binder sat on the desk before me, open and ready for the last words that would dub it "finished". My hands were shaking so badly as I scribbled those last few words.

Since this was the first book in a series, I didn't feel like I could
write "the end" but I had to write something XP

They were shaking because I knew I was close to the end. I'd been working towards that moment for almost two years. I knew each word that would form the story's closure. I'd had them planned for a very long time.

And finally I was writing it.

Hands shaking, I managed to scratch out those last few words. Then I set my pencil down, stared at the old notebook page ... and burst into tears.

I sobbed hard for probably ten minutes. Maybe longer. My sister and dad came in and asked what was wrong and I could just manage to croak out, "I finished it."

A year and eight months since I'd started writing this story, I wrote the last words. Why did I sob my eyes out? (I was twelve, by the way) I've never cried when finishing a book since then. I cried twice when I wrote my WIP, but that was during one really touching scene that always makes me almost cry, and while writing the very very tragic climax. Both really emotionally gripping and difficult scenes. But not the ending.

So why was my first book different?

It was my first book. And if you've never finished a book before, you'll probably sympathize with the point I'm about to make.

Up until that moment ... I wasn't sure if I could do it.

A lot of people "write stories" after all. Pretty much all of my friends had at least started a story at one point in their lives, but they didn't usually make it past page three. So when people heard I was a writer, they just assumed I was like them. Not really serious about it. I made it past chapter three pretty quickly (thanks to my cousin) but I still wasn't sure if I was really a writer. I wasn't sure if I had it in me to write a full length novel ending in "The End."

But I did. (you could argue that I didn't, actually, since I didn't end with "the end" but we'll not go into that right now)

*dumps a couple more pictures on you just cause*

I had a hanging bed for several years around this time, and I developed
this ritual of sorts where when a big thing happened,
I'd write under my bed. And so, obviously, I wrote under it that night. XP 
I am way too sentimental but this is the calendar from that year
(forgive my atrocious handwriting ICK)

I also felt like no one believed I could do it. This belief is probably really wrong, but it was there, wedged in the back of my mind. No one takes you seriously, it would whisper. No one believes in you. You should just give up. You're not good enough to write this, anyway. 

But I did. I wrote the book. I pushed through and ground out all four hundred and fifty-three pages of it.

*sniffles* my little baby


I didn't give up.

If you haven't finished a book yet, let me tell you this. You will. You will if you don't give up. So don't give up.

No one believes in you? Who cares. God believes in you. That's why he's given you this passion. This gift. Now it's time for you to believe in you. Believe in yourself. Trust that God knows what He's doing with your life, and plunge in head first with everything you've got.

God believes in you. I believe in you. Now you need to believe in yourself.

Don't give up. Keep writing.

Have you ever finished a draft? If you haven't, are you close? If you have finished a draft, what's some advice you'd give to people who are still trying to get there?

<3

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14 comments

  1. Unfortunately, I have never had the patience for much more than a short story. Working full time leaves me too drained (though I completely respect those who are able to do both!) to work on a book. Someday though, my husband promises I can quit my job and work on one, if I would like to. Nonetheless, it brings me great hope to see others accomplishing such a goal. Good luck in life.

    waltzandwillow.com

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    1. Aw that's so hard. I can't wait to see the day when you do write a full novel! If you want to do it, and if you set your mind to it, it will happen <3

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  2. I LOVED THIS POST SO MUCH AND I DON'T EVEN KNOW /WHY/! Great job writing it XD.

    I've finished so many first drafts - mostly of novellas or short stories, but I've done one or two novels. And my advice would be this - NOTHING feels just the same as being able to write 'the end' on your first draft. SO keep on keeping on, and you'll get there *nods*.

    Awesome post, Hannah! :D

    ~ Savannah
    scattered-scribblings.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you, Savannah! <3 *whispers* I'm like, really excited, because I'm going to be able to write "the end" for the first time after a novel this Novemberrrr! I've always written series and have never fully /finished/ something. SO MUCH EXCITEMENT. *flails*

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    2. ACK, YOU ARE?! HURRAH! *even more desperately hopes you can reach your goal, because writing 'THE END' is epicness* XD

      ~ Savannah
      scattered-scribblings.blogspot.com

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    3. It isssss. I am soooo excited. *will very likely sob eyes out*

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  3. Oh oh oh, HANNAH. This was such a beautiful post! :') I bet this was super nostalgic to write.

    I haven't finished a novel before. For the past few years, I've been building inspiration and sufficient story substance before taking the big dive, since I pantsed my past novels at ages 10-11 and they never reached the end.

    I'm taking that big dive this November during NaNoWriMo.

    To be honest, I'm scared. I have a full outline, fleshed out characters, and what I think is a pretty interesting world. But what if I don't make it? What if I never finish a novel? What if this whole writing/finishing a novel thing isn't God's plan for me?

    It kind of scares me a little. I have all these ideas - they have potential, I know it! - but what if... I just wasn't meant to write. Those are questions that just get me a lot.

    And this post came at such a good time! So encouraging. I know that I want to this, and God DID give me all this inspiration. And I just have to do something with it. :)

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    1. It wasssss. I love seeing how far I've come. It is so encouraging.

      Ahhhh I am so excited for you! Don't fear, lovely! You've got this! I will be here to cheer you on and war you if you want! If you put your mind to it, I promise you, you will finish this book. It might not happen as soon as you'd like, but it WILL happen. Don't give up. <3

      As for if writing is God's plan for you ... Honestly, I can't say. Only you can discover that. I've struggled for years if that is His plan for me, and am trying to write the post of my path to discovering it. I'm still not 100% sure, and I never will be. But I think a big part of it is trust. Trust that God loves you enough to put the path in your sight, to take your hand - and your heart - and lead you down the road He has planned for you.

      Do your best. Follow your heart. <3

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  4. This is a beautiful post! There is truly nothing like finishing your first work-writing the end or to be continued. It truly does give one a sense of i-really-can-do-this-writing-thing.

    I have written a novella and a full length novel. My advice for someone writing a first draft is to be the writer and write. Don't look back on your work and tweak it. Just write. Later, you can be the editor and edit.

    Again, great post!

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    1. It doesssss! Yessss such good words of wisdom! <3 That about destroyed me, before I figured out you could actually GO BACK and edit. What a novel idea XP

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  5. It's such a beautiful moment when you finish, especially the first one. Thanks for sharing it :D

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    1. Isn't it though? *happy sigh* Thanks for reading! <3

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  6. Beautiful words, Hannah! I had a similar reaction when I finished my first novel. Emotions of disbelief and joy swirled around and around in my mind, and I still experience similar emotions whenever I finish a new project. There just happens to be a lot more joy touched with the sadness of finality in the more recent ones.
    Thank you for sharing this! <3

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  7. Oh my goodness, you hand-wrote that entire book? That's so phenomenal! I'm pretty sure that when I finish my novel, I'm going to be sobbing, too. I want to get there so badly. I will, one day soon. ♥

    This post was so filled with the emotion, and I loved every word.

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