While writing a book is magical experience, it’s not without its ups and downs. Any author who has written several books would likely tell you, that like me, there’s a cycle to each one. After writing forty-plus novels, I’ve begun to recognize the different stages and that makes it easier to push through.
1) Nauseating fear! Yep, the day I’m to start writing a new book, I’m scared to death! I have a swirling stomach like a kid on a Sunday night about to go back to school the next day. I start to wonder if I have it in me to write another book. (By this point, I know this happens every time and I’ve written over forty novels!)
2) There is the sudden—and “real” need—to clean the house to a polish or take care of something else on the domestic front. One word summation: procrastinate.
3) Assuming you make it to the computer to sit down to write, your struggle isn’t over. You can procrastinate and go online in the name of research but end up wasting hours down a rabbit hole. Assuming you work (BRAVO!) and push past your fear, you write, you kick out respectable work. By the end of the writing session, you are riding a natural high! You want to repeat this again tomorrow!
4) Then… it’s back. Fear. This might happen more when writing write organically (without any outline), but it is real, my friend. You start asking yourself if you have enough to say to finish the book? You imagine it being the length of a short story. Those of brave hearts, push through.
5) Somehow you manage to break through fear, and you can hardly type the words fast enough. But, uh-oh, it’s slithering back in another form. You begin to think if you keep going with this momentum, obliging all the twists and turns that pop up, you’re going to have too many words and your book is going to be the length of an encyclopedia.
6) Still, you push on. Relief washes over you. Surprise of all surprises, the book is coming together and it’s going to be the perfect length for a first draft. Yippie!!!
7) You finish, and you’re exhausted but hyper about you accomplished. CELEBRATE, but be warned, if you’re like me, you somehow lose the ability to talk clearly and the right words escape you for a week or so. But, heck, you just laid out seventy-five to eighty thousand (or more). It’s perfectly natural to frazzled at this point. You might find it beneficial to isolate and decompress for a few days to a week. (That amount of time is completely individual.)
8) You barely made it out of the experience with your sanity intact, but you want to do that again!
Of course, all the above is just the beginning! From this point, it shifts from laying down a first draft to editing the manuscript for publication. That too has an emotional cycle of its own. Professionals are involved, finding the right people can be a roller coaster! You’ll end up revising and reading the book more times than you want… but that’s a story for another day.
Then there are covers, book blurbs, marketing strategies… BREATHE!
In closing, I will say this, for those of us brave enough to write books—starting out or veterans—rock on! For those of you reading our work, THANK YOU!!!