If you’ve ever thought about writing a book here’s a wee run down of how it went for me (in no particular order):
1. You now have to write: It’s in your bones, you made a habit of sitting down and putting words on paper and it’s a hard habit to break. However, your relationship with writing took some work.
You liked it at first, but then you grew to loathe it, as it sucked up every morsel of your energy and time. Thankfully, at some point you and writing made a breakthrough (it would be tough to finish a book if you didn’t). You grew to see writing differently, your understanding of it deepened, as did your affection.
As the last pages take shape you realise that this is not a relationship that you can allow to die
2. You forgot about editing: As you bid farewell to your fist book you look through a sentense and notice how mny mistakes you’ve made (see what I did there). Now it’s time to make the acquaintance of writing’s obnoxious uncle; editing.
He’s harsh, he pushes you, and to make things worse he seems able to remind you of all the things that once annoyed you about writing. His presence jeopardises your deepening relationship with writing and you grow to hate him more for that.
As I forced myself through the last chapter of ‘Fey Flame‘ with editing in tow I must admit I lacked the growth of affection for him I’d found with writing. I might respect editing well enough now but I find him pedantic and quite frankly a pain in the butt.
3. You forget to read: Ego makes you think you know it all already and that the world ‘needs your craft’. I went through a (very) brief period of this after Fey Flame but was rudely awoken to my need to consult the greats when I started writing ‘Jack Reusen and the Spark of Dreams‘ (writing and I got a bit lost around chapter three).
Writing one book will not get you to a point where you know it all.
4. You still have trouble calling yourself an ‘author’: I have to admit that impostor syndrome can be pretty strong here (at least it has been for me).
I’m OK with ‘writer’; I’ll happily throw that one around. However, ‘author’ has a grandiose sound to it that I can’t quite draw myself up to yet.’Authors’ have fans, they are invited to big literary events, and they make a living from their writing.
I don’t make a living from it. I make some money from book sales but the thing that spurs me on is my readers. Knowing that people are reading (and enjoying) my work makes me feel more ‘author like’ but I think I’ve some way to go before I’ll be happy telling people I’m an ‘author’.
5. Knowing you wrote one book makes you think that the next ones will come more quickly: It doesn’t. You do write more quickly and make less of the obvious mistakes, but you have become more demanding of yourself. You want the next book to be better than the first.
I know I’ve written another post similar to this one before but I’be recently been reading up on writing technique and it’s reminded me of how different I feel after writing the books.
Are there any big projects that you feel changed you in some way? Did testing your limits let you get to know yourself better?
As always thanks for reading, all the best, John