What No One Tells You...

paul-volkmer-544892-unsplash.jpg

…about writing a second book.

This time last year I’d finished my first novel, I was busy editing it, thinking about beta readers and querying.  I was conscious though that I wanted to keep writing after all that's part of the process that I love. I’d written a book already and logic told me therefore I could write a second one...

...but the thing is writing a book is like having one ball all you need to do is throw that one ball in the air and catch it - simple.  Especially when you have limited time because you're trying to do that in amongst all the spinning of plates you're doing with the your day job and the rest of your life.

What I was faced with was the realisation that I still needed to be throwing the first ball, that was in the editing phase, I needed to keep that one going. All this would be fine until you realise that once you finish a book your ball multiplies - it becomes two maybe even three balls; editing and rewrites, beta feedback, synopsis and cover letters.

After a couple of false starts I realised I really couldn't start a new book yet I was working pretty hard on my juggling act as it was and I wasn't ready for more balls. So I waited until my first book went back to being one ball, the one where I submitted to agents and waited.  

With a deep breath and the belief that I could handle juggling two balls I started writing my second book. This is when I discovered the second thing I didn't know and wasn't expecting about writing your second book and that is it's harder than the first.

You would think that you've gained all these skills writing your first book, you were pretty proud of yourself, you started from nothing and created a whole book.  That's the trouble you see when I wrote my first book I had no expectations of myself, I just knew I wanted to do it and I loved writing.  Writing my second book came with all sorts of internal expectations, a pressure that I hadn't put on myself the first time around.

All the while my confidence taking the knocks of rejection.  I haven't finished my second book yet but I'm 35000 words in and after a difficult time recently enjoying it.  I thought I’d been organised and focused writing my first book but the second time round has required a new layer of skills.  

This book has taken me longer to write but only I think because I have been in such a disorganised state.  I imagine when this book is written and I embark on my next project I'll experience a similar reshuffle of organisation and I hope that I'll be better prepared for it.