This is a collection of notes. You will notice three notebooks (all full), several pieces of paper, and a lot of post-it notes. Some singles and some held together with paperclips. All of it is dedicated to my novel, the story I’m writing. I’ve been writing it for a year and a half and just restarted chapter one for what feels like the hundredth time. In that year and a half, I have started and stopped; there were times where I gave up on it completely, and others where I was convinced what I was writing would become the next great novel .Now, I am not so sure — but you can bet your ass I am going to finish.
Even though the story is complex, and I’m not sure how everything will manage to fall together in the end. Even though I frequently get off track and make mistakes, and hate myself for making them. Even though, at this point, the only thing I can call my story is “the Danny Badd” story” (named after the main character), because I still haven’t managed to think up a title. Despite all of that, you can literally bet your ass I am going to finish. Literally, yes. Go on down to the black market, have some creepy cannibal butcher evaluate it for price, and lay the bet on the table that Cody Storyteller will finish his novel or the black market can have your ass.
How can I be so certain? How can I possibly ask you to bet such a fine ass on something so up to whim? And, the answer is, because I have chosen to believe in the Cody Storyteller of tomorrow.
When I lay down my pen tonight (well, my computer… but pen sounds more poetic), whether I am proud of what I’ve accomplished or want to burn it with a flame thrower, I am going to believe that future Cody can fix it. And, tomorrow, when I’ve gone a little ways further into the story and I’m starting to feel like I’m just going on and on about nothing? I am going to believe in my future ability to take care of the messes I’ve made. Each and every time I find myself ruminating over the idea of throwing away my draft and starting all over simply because I’ve run into a roadblock, I am going to hold a knife to my neck… er, I mean, I am going to believe in Cody Storyteller and his ability to write a damn good story — even if the first draft looks like Chinese alphabet soup to me at the time.
If you don’t believe in your story, and you don’t believe in your ability to write it, it is never going to get finished. Start believing in yourself. Work hard every day. Even the days that feel like you’re wasting your time? You’re not. Just keep writing. Don’t give up.