Friday, January 9, 2009

The first, second, and third books

Remember the first thing you were proud of writing?

I was fifteen, a freshman in high school, and I wrote a stream of conscious story - I don't remember what it was about, but I passed it around to a few friends in class. Everyone was impressed; it's easy to impress freshmen. Hey, I thought, writing is easy!

Over the next twelve years, I wrote a little every now and then. I posted a few stories online, kept a personal blog, and one day, I was going to write a novel. Except I never did. I'd get an idea, I'd write a couple of pages, and then I'd forget about it.

Only one day, I kept writing, and I finished my first book.

This blog isn't about that book. That book was garbage. The story of this blog begins a week after I finished rattling the keyboard.

At first, I thought: this is great. Let's get this published. And then I had a good night's sleep and realized that I'd have to start again at the beginning, because no one would ever want to read it.
It was a learning experience. A forty thousand word learning experience. Writing isn't easy; writing is - sometimes - about doing a lot of work with no payoff.

The next week, I started my second book. I slowed down; I plotted, I planned, I thought. It took me three times as long to write my second book, and then came revisions.
Five months after I started writing it, I finished it and started the next.

My wife and I are moving to a new city and quitting our jobs. Instead of being smart and finding new work, we're taking off the first few months to get my second (and third, eventually) books published.

I'll document our progress via this blog. I hope that other writers attempting to publish their first books will get something out of my eventual success or probable failure.

No comments:

Post a Comment