Writers aren't allowed to give themselves excuses NOT to write. The main thing we firmly tell ourselves is GET ON WITH IT! After completing the manuscript of my third children's book (at least I pray it will become a book eventually) my mind turned to the next thing; my first novel. After discarding several ideas, I decided to try my hand in writing a 'coming of age' story. But after a few lines I drew a blank... except when I write fanfiction; probably because I'm trying to create my own characters now and leave subtle messages in the story besides telling the story. And there's still the fear; that I wouldn't measure up to the really established writers out there; writers like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie- who has three novels and a collection of short stories under her belt. I actually met her years ago at the University of Lagos when she introduced her second novel, Half Of A Yellow Sun (now a major motion picture). While signing my copy of Purple Hibiscus (her first novel) I nervously showed her my two children's books which she briefly leafed through, nodded approvingly then asked me, what it only children's books I would keep writing?
That question struck a chord in me and I began asking myself the same question since then. My children's books (particularly the animal fables) are much liked, but should I stick to them ore try harder to be a novelist? Some say, "do what you know", but others say, "expand your horizons and think outside the box". To test myself, I indulged in "practice writing"- writing Days of Our Lives fanfiction and from the kind responses, it seems I can actually be a novelist.
With all the advice and tips I've gleaned from the Internet on the best way to write a novel, I'm focusing on the best one... GET ON WITH IT; JUST WRITE! Ms. Adichie and other writers didn't sit down and dream or wait for inspiration and I don't intent to do that either. I shouldn't be afraid of mediocrity, but of not achieving my objective at all; which I will do via hard work and determination. And eventually, my tale will finally be told.