Can I get a novel published?

Short answer: Yes.

Long answer: Well, it’s complicated.

It’s almost November again, and yes, I am participating in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), meaning I will [hopefully] have a [somewhat] complete first draft of a novel by the end of the month.

I’ve heard the various platitudes that just sitting down to write is the hardest part of the whole process of writing a novel. While, yes, I agree that writing a story from start to finish — to reach that end goal of roughly 50,000 words — beginning, middle, and end — is quite the feat, I disagree that it’s the most difficult part.

It takes so much to be published nowadays. The whole publishing process completely baffles me. Plus, it seems like an exclusive club — a fraternity/sorority type situation, where the person who wants to get published must go through a seemingly endless ritual of hazing before reaching the end goal.

I struggle to chat myself up even in a job interview, so my own self-promotion abilities when it comes to my writing (which I must admit, I am still super self-conscious about), are basically atrocious.

Most of everything I’ve ever written has been completed to “good enough” status. They’ve been papers, blog posts, short stories for creative writing class. My writing would speak for itself, the professor would give me a grade, and then I would shuffle it away forever. Simple.

I’ve never had to sell something I’ve written. How do you sell your story when you aren’t convinced it’s a great work or at all life-changing or accessible or will sell well or all of the above?

NaNoWriMo will be a challenge, yes, but the most challenging part comes next: reviewing what you’ve created and deciding whether or not it’s good enough to pursue the path through publishing hell.

Was that too dramatic?

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