It seems the most common sentence I hear from readers is, "I plan to write a novel." And ninety-nine percent of the time it's based on an individual's own personal journey, usually a fictionalized encapsulation of their life story, the novel they've had inside for years - a story they are determined to share with the world. I say . . . go for it. Write about what you know.
There are varying opinions on whether or not every story should be told. Perhaps that's up to an acquiring editor once that book is finished. But personally, I believe every story that moves a writer to finish it deserves to be birthed. Most (not all) first-time novels are semi-autobiographical - stories of self-achievement and experiences of survival, or stories of great tragedy that still haunt us years later.
I am very open about the fact that my first novel, May December Souls, was based in part on my estranged relationship with my father who passed away before I could really come to terms with my feelings about his decision to leave his family. I'm glad I had the discipline and determination to write it because a few women contacted me to say the book encouraged them to call their own absent fathers to make amends. But the father-daughter angle of this book was only a small part of the entire ninety-thousand word story. It's one thing to write about what happens to us personally, it's another to turn your life circumstances into a well-crafted work of fiction. Writing a novel is so much more than telling stories. Writing a novel is absolutely, hard work - but it can be done.
Get your story outlined and get on a writing regimen with a targeted deadline and work hard to achieve your daily writing goals - make some novel space in your life. Create a habit.
As I tell those I meet along the way, read up on what it takes to write a novel, read other novels, and write! It's great that you have a plot, but writing is more than that. Writing a novel is a painstaking yet personally rewarding experience, unlike one could ever imagine, and I do believe you must love the process enough to go into writer's labor and give birth. Don't just talk about it - do it!
Next time, you won't be saying you plan to write a novel, you'll be able to say, "I wrote a novel." And then the true work of raising that novel-child begins!
Do you think every story should be told?