The best (and most useful) things writing a novel does for you

850600_thumbs_upWhenever something’s worthwhile, it doesn’t come easy. That’s as true of writing fiction as it is of anything else.

We all know writing is worthwhile. We all know it’s a true accomplishment to finish a novel…. or two, three, or four. That’s why we’re always so hesitant to consider ourselves writers even after we start writing, as I explored yesterday.

Nevertheless, it’s important to claim that title. And it’s important to remember the benefits writing brings us.

Since writing can get us all down from time to time, I thought it might be helpful to have a list on file of the best things about being a writer. A list to refer back to when the going gets tough and I start wondering, “Why exactly do I do this again?”

Over the week I’ll go into detail of each list component, so make sure to come back, enjoy, and chime in by sharing your own experiences.

  • You get credit for awesome stuff your characters do. And how resourceful they are, as well as how interesting and inspiring. The fact is, you as the author hardly feel responsible for that, because your characters surprised you as much as they shocked anyone else. But no one needs to know that, do they? *evil laugh*
  • You get to give back to books. We writers are avid readers. We were never seen without a book as children, and we still aren’t (most of the time). We know how to read in such a way to develop our writing. Writing is our chance to tell the world “thanks” for all the books it’s given us by giving one to someone else.
  • You learn empathy. Diving into a character’s head, and considering his motives, emotions, desires, and dreams, teaches you that other people are just like you in a way few other things can.
  • Your characters can inspire and challenge you. In more ways than just developing your writing skills. They’re not perfect by any means, but my characters tend to be manifestations of what I wish I could be. They exhibit qualities I admire and seek to imitate. (Or, conversely, qualities I don’t.) I can hold them up as examples that spur me, in a way, to be the best version of myself.
  • You challenge yourself, and you grow as a person from that.Β Writing develops your creativity, your language skills, and your problem-solving skills. It teaches you how to persevere and plan to achieve a long-term goal.

Well, those are some of the best things about writing (for me, personally). What do you consider the best things about writing?


34 responses to “The best (and most useful) things writing a novel does for you

  1. Also our characters get to be our guinea pigs, doing things that we could possibly never do in real life ! Like riding a horse in the middle of times square or shooting a cop. πŸ™‚

    • oh, so true! it’s a blast to live vicariously through our characters, isn’t it? It’s the best thing! I’ve always wanted to go to Hogwarts, haha! That’s why happily ever after is so popular, I think (well, one reason.)

  2. wonderfully explained !

  3. I think the planning aspect: the outlining, the following along, hitting the right spot to break with the plan and adjust it, is a worthwhile feat, also.

    Being patient, being humble, being persistent are other traits that you’r tuning.

    • oh, most definitely! whether a writer is more of a planner, like you, or wings it a bit more, like me, persistence, humility, and patience are definitely necessary to write a novel. If you don’t have them when you start, you’ll have them when you end. Fantastic point. Thanks for bringing that up!

  4. I got one. You can inspire other people to write and continue the cycle of reading & writing. I get the ‘you inspired me’ statement a lot for some reason.

  5. I love the comment about being ‘hesitant to consider ourselves writers’ – amen to that! Brilliant post – hit the nail on the head. Looking forward to the follow ups. πŸ™‚

  6. I personally like that I can do it in my pajamas, and it settles the introvert in me knowing that I did my job, and can do it wherever I want, on my own time. πŸ™‚

    • oh yes, the introvert in me…. I am TOTAL introvert. Without a doubt. I love one on one interaction with people and small groups but I work very well on my own, left to my own devices. Writing is PERFECT for that! πŸ™‚

  7. Hahaha I love taking credit for what my characters do. My characters are so much cooler than me.

  8. Pingback: Why writing a novel rocks: You get credit for stuff your characters do | Creative Writing with the Crimson League

  9. I love the challenge of writing from different perspectives and different personality types. It forces me to consider the POV of someone who is very different from me and to make that character as believable as possible to my reader. I’m also an introvert and, like many introverts, I’m also a keen observer of people and human nature. Writing allows me to share what I see.

    • I’m too an introvert, but I tend to lose myself in my thoughts and not be as observant as other people. It’s kind of a problem, haha! Glad to see you’re different. I love what you say here: sharing what you see is such a great part of writing!!! Putting yourself in someone else’s mind or POV is a great and worthy exercise.

  10. Pingback: Why writing a novel rocks: you get to give back to the world of books | Creative Writing with the Crimson League

  11. angel7090695001

    I can write wherever I want in bed or on a sofa.

  12. Pingback: Creative Writing and Empathy: How Writing Fiction Helps You Connect With Others | Creative Writing with the Crimson League

  13. great post Victoria!

  14. Absolutely true! Well said! One of the best things about writing is how I get to laugh at myself and ease my anxieties through the things my characters discover. The other best thing is when a character becomes so alive in my mind all I have to do is sit back and let my fingers fly over the keys.

    • oh my gosh, the characters taking control is the best thing EVER πŸ™‚ and writing really is therapy for my anxieties too. I’m a very anxious person!

      Thanks for dropping by. I’m so glad you agree with the post πŸ™‚

  15. No wonder i have been unable to write…all the qualities required; “patience, perseverance & planning are about as far away from my outlook right now as they possibly could be. I will keep reading these wonderful ideas and encouragements, and attend a writers class…
    I so do not want to leave this world without dropping off some inspiration for someone who needs it.
    Thank you all…

  16. Pingback: Surviving Times of Turmoil – The Writer’s Responsibility | bardicblogger

  17. NaNo was my first serious attempt at writing, and I learned a lot from the process. I am still writing on my story every day, trying to finish it, and the characters just keep surprising me. It’s a very exhilarating feeling when, despite all your careful plans, the characters just decide to do as they please. And then you look at it and say, “Wow, this is actually much better than anything I had planned, and it makes so much more sense!”

    • Oh my gosh, we are writing twins!!! πŸ˜› That is EXACTLY my favorite part of writing. I never expected writing worked that way until I started drafting, but…. Man, it’s so incredible, isn’t it??? πŸ˜›

  18. Victoria, nice post. The biggest gift writing three novels has done for me is to sharpen my eyes. Novelists are observers: The more I write, the more I need to observe the world which serves as a substrate. The way a woman looks away when she doesn’t agree; the way the sunlight plays on the snow; the sound of a crow on a quiet winter morning.

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