Friday, 20 July 2012

Don't Look Down

Until recently, I hadn't appreciated just how much worry – how much dread – would come with the completion of book two. At various points over the last year, friends have asked if writing made me feel nervous or exposed, and for some reason I was able to shrug and tell them truthfully that it didn't.

Until recently.

I never saw it coming. Naturally, completing the first draft of book two felt great, and I was able to take a break from weekends of writing. But then, as the weeks crept on, I knew it would soon be time to look at the editing, so copies went out to a few trusted friends. And that's when it happened. Perhaps the simplest way to describe it is being a little like vertigo – everything's just fine until you glance down into the abyss and suddenly you're reeling.

What if this thing that I've spent a year on doesn't work? What if it disappoints the readers? What if I got it wrong?

I've heard several authors say that their second book was harder to write than the first. In my case, the writing part seemed okay, but I was much more worried about the reaction to the second book. Perhaps because this one had something to "live up to" or perhaps simply because I really had nothing to lose the first time round.

It doesn't sound like much of an advert for being a writer. However, there is an upbeat ending to all this. For as tough as those weeks of waiting have been, there is a huge sense of achievement – seriously, it's quite overwhelming! – now that I've heard back from some people who've read it. Yes, there's still work to do – lots to tweak and polish – but the feedback has been positive and, above all, they enjoyed reading it. More than anything, that’s what I wanted... and there’s no better cure for literary vertigo.

No comments:

Post a Comment