It’s that time of the month again, first Wednesday, which means, it’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group:
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds.
There are a lot of blog posts out there about writing and finishing and publishing your first book. I did one of those myself. After all, it’s a big deal to write and finish a book, and even a bigger deal to get it published.
What nobody talks about is the second book. I thought it would be easier and I now know about the pressures and expectations of writing and publishing beyond the first book.
I started writing my second book while taking a break after having finished my first novel, The Secret Life of Daydreams. I wrote about 34,000 words of a story between Simon and Isabel, and then put it aside when I started editing and rewriting Josh and Sofia’s story.
A few months ago I went back to it and I knew right away I had to start over. I liked the characters and I liked their story but the plot was not working. So I started over. I wrote about 15,000 words and those were not working so I started again. This time I wrote about 10,000 before I knew it wasn’t working either.
The doubts assailed me: what if I couldn’t write another novel? What if I wrote it but it wasn’t as good as the first one? And what if the readers who loved my first one didn’t like this one? Thinking about the expectations of others, and the expectations I had of me and what I thought others would think, put undue pressure on my ability to let go and write the story.
Yes, I started it again. For the 4th time, I started writing a story with the same characters and the same backstory but I let go of the pressures and concentrated on the characters only. And something amazing happened. Without the pressure of expectations, I was able to write a 40,000 word novella in eighteen days. Unprecedented, I tell you. I’m a slow writer and this never happens. In fact, it completely blew me away how vivid the characters and their story were and how fast I could write it all.
This book has definitely been a lesson for me.
And for this month’s question:
JULY 6TH QUESTION: What’s the best thing someone has ever said about your writing?
I’ve been very blessed to receive lots of good reviews and compliments on my book. I especially love the ones that say it’s very well written. I’m not an English speaker and sometimes I worry that it shows in my writing. To have a reader, especially a critical reader, notice that I make an effort not only with the characters and story but also with the writing is like a payoff to all the hard work I put into it.
Insecure Writer #82