My novel is in the trusted hands of a few beta readers right now. Last night I got a preliminary report from one of them and, in the name of honesty, it wasn't entirely positive. While she had some nice things to say, she was also able to pinpoint the exact areas in my story that need work.
There was a lot.
At first it felt like someone reached through the computer screen and punched me in the face. I allowed myself a few minutes to wallow. I knew my novel had problems, but it's different hearing it in someone else's words. I had a brief moment, about a half a minute where I really thought of throwing the entire project in the garbage and forgetting about it. I wanted to burn it and forget I ever wrote it. It has quickly become the thorn in my side. I am starting to think that the book I am working on will be ready for publication far sooner than Unbroken.
My thirty seconds of wallowing are now over. I'm going to pick myself back up, dust myself off and go fix those issues, even if I have to rewrite the entire book. I'm not giving up on it. I still believe in my story, and my characters and I'm not ready to throw them into my literary graveyard just yet.
I've already learned countless lessons from writing that book, and I'm sure I will learn countless more. Writing that book has done nothing but expand my scope of experience as a writer. Yes, it needs work and I'm prepared to rewrite the entire thing if I have to, which is looking more and more like a likely possibility all the time.