Yes, I'm talking to you: the hopeful writer. You are so brave to be forging new ideas and thoughts. And yet you're cowering behind your computer screen, afraid to write one word lest it be imperfect.
You think your novel's not good enough?
Being a writer is a hard and noble calling. Writing a novel, much less a short story, is not easy.
And you, my friend, have decided to undertake such a heavy task. (Am I boosting your ego yet?)
Yet your road is plagued with self-doubt. My novel isn't good enough. I'm not good enough. These words? Cliche. I am not a writer.
Oh, but you are a writer. Otherwise, we wouldn't be here.
Listen: everyone's first draft stinks. That's just the way it is. Every published novel goes through tons of editing before it is made viewable to the public eye. You can't write a novel the first time around and expect it to be perfect.
In fact, your novel won't even be perfect by the third, fourth, or fifth draft. (If you get that far, I applaud you. I'm sure this day is coming for us, novelists. Prepare yourselves.) I saw Bryan Davis speak once, and he said that your story is never completely finished. You will never have a perfect novel, so why try?
But you can do your best. Do your best to pour every ink-stained word and every drop of sweat into your manuscript. Write the story that you've been called to write. Because I know it, dear writer: you have a story. And it needs to be told.
After all, if you don't tell it, who will?
Oh, and P.S. - this letter was written to Me as much as it was written to You. ;)
Update from the NaNo battlefront: Well, I have a villain. Two, in fact. One of them needs a name, though. If you have any names that sound dastardly, cunning, and villainous, leave them in a comment.
I'm also plodding along on my outline, and I'm on Chapter 17. Three days, people. Three days.