Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Getting Back On The New Book Horse

When I first decided to give writing a book a try, I was terrified. Not that my book would be bad - strangely, I never worried about that, don't know what that says about my ego. No, I was scared at the idea over a hundred pages full of words. As someone who had at most written a 100 page screenplay which has considerably less words on each page, and many short stories, the task seemed impossible. Where would all those words come from? What would they be? How could I possibly find a way to use so many of them to tell just one story??

I decided to make my goal simple. Just write a complete story, and make it to page 100. I thought if I could tell a whole story and reach three digit numbers I would know that I was capable of writing a book, which would be all the reassurance I would need. And so I did it, and it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.

Ah, whoever coined the phrase "ignorance is bliss" was SO right. I look back now and I can't believe that I thought just finishing a book would be enough to turn me from under-confident writer wannabe to seasoned writer extraordinaire. You know, the one that churns out fabulous books and never has trouble with plots or dialogue or motivation. Ha!

Just like I knew that winning the lottery, or becoming mega-famous, or getting plastic surgery won't actually change who you are, I should've known that neither does writing a book.

Sitting down to write the next book is still hard. It still feels daunting to know I have to come up with 200+ pages of words. In some ways it's more daunting because I know how to spot the bad stuff as it's happening. In other ways, it's exciting, because I know this one will be SO MUCH better. I just also know that it won't be any easier.

Maybe one day I will sit down at the keyboard and gorgeous prose will shoot out of my fingertips like a sprinkler, but for now it's just me, a little bit wiser, trying to make the magic happen on my own.

I have a feeling that each book I write will get a little bit easier and a little bit harder at the same time. But I think that's good, because if it doesn't seem hard, I'm not trying to make it the best it can be. And as long as I learn from each book and make the next one better, I can live with that.

What about you? Do you find each book you write is harder? Easier? The same? How do you deal with it?


  1. I have found that it gets easier with each book I write. There is a routine I fall into now that works well for me.

    ~Heather CSC

  2. I've only written two, but the second was definitely easier than the first in terms of the first draft. The revising is easier this time around too...but I have no idea if it's actually a better book than the first. Well, that was a helpful response-lol.

  3. After investing so much time into a novel, it's always so hard for me to start the next one. In fact, it seems like it's taking me longer and longer to write a 1st draft. I hope I break that habit soon! :)

  4. In general, it's usually easier each time I've written one (I've written 14 or 15). But the more I write and learn, I realize it's difficult to write a book WELL (it can be so complex; you're right--ignorance is bliss!)

  5. Love it! "gorgeous prose will shoot out of my fingertips like a sprinkler"

    I think we get better with each one, and I really do strive to challenge myself each time.


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