Friday, October 12, 2018

I Needed Help

In my last post, I wrote about my unbelievably positive publishing experience for my first novel. Well, not my first novel. It was actually my second. The first one was The Octagon House, a valiant attempt at writing a gothic. 

The most important thing I learned from the gothic experience was that it's critical to finish that first book. With the first one under your belt, you'll know you can actually write a book. My agent once said that a lot of people who assume they can write a book find they simply can't when they sit down and try it. Or that they hate the process. 

Also, something psychologically mysterious comes with completing such a large project. It's liberating. It's self-affirming, as in "I told myself I could do this, then I did it. Good for me." As I mentioned in my previous post, not having someone mess with me during the creative process was a blessing.


I stopped writing this post right in the middle. I went to Parker to give a talk to a book club and stayed with my daughter the night before. I foolishly assumed I would finish the blog at Mary Beth's house. And I didn't.

Anyway, after my dream first publishing experience, I needed a mentor--another writer who had published books--to tell me things. I needed advice! I was astonished by the number of persons who had never written a book, let alone published, who were all too happy to tell me what to do.

At lunch, after my talk, a couple of the ladies asked me about the publishing process. What happens after writing the book. What are the next steps? In another blog I'll go through some of the steps involved with traditional publishing.

The publishing business is like a fast-moving train. By the time one figures out big moves, details, and sorts through the process of adapting as an individual the train has already whizzed right on by. Happily, and this is the first big lesson--there's always another one coming down the track. It doesn't feel like there is going to be.

Big lesson #No. 1 (and the most important of all) Write your next book. Write your next book. Write your next book.


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