If we saw a white belt enter a fight with a black belt, we’d think he was a fool. The gap in skill level is too wide. We’d wonder what on earth made the white belt think he could compete at that level.
If a couch potato started training with marathon runners he’d get left behind in a hurry and he’d probably get injured.
These might seem like far-fetched examples. Common sense dictates that a person would start at the beginning of a training program and work her way up through the stages of development. Of course a white belt wouldn’t challenge a black belt. Of course a couch potato wouldn’t train with marathoners. Except they do. And they become discouraged, and they quit.
So why is it novice writers insist on competing with master level storytellers? What is it about this industry that makes us think we can write a debut novel that competes with the greats of literature? Why aren’t we willing to write one novel after another, moving along the stages of development with each book?