Saturday, 2 September 2017

The difficult second

How often do we hear 'oh well that was the difficult second album?' It seems if you have the talent and the perseverance to make an album or write a book the second one is never quite as easy.

It seems that the first time we do something that is good enough to be shown to the public at large we have been working on it for the whole of our lives up until that point.
Then either through personal or peer pressure the second album or book is required before the furore of the first has died down. So often the second is a disappointment and the star wains until five years later they reappear with a third that is reminiscent of the first.

I looked today and I published my first novel a little over three years ago. I had written it as part of the 2012 NANOWRIMO and had then taken two years to tidy it up and eventually get it to a state that I was happy with and able to publish it.
As part of NANO 2013 I wrote my second novel. Then I got ill. Once I was better and ready to write again I turned my pen to writing about my illness and produced what I consider to be a passable non fiction book about my health struggles and the British NHS.
Then I started to go back to my second novel. It lacked something but it was okay I had an idea. I have sat down twice in the last six months to write that idea and started with all good intentions to  find the following day that I need to go to work and I am too busy to carry on.

Yesterday I saw an article about a fellow writer who has just won an award with Amazon. In it he talks about how he would write at night after the kids had gone to bed and how he discovered self publishing through KDP. Eventually he 'discovers' he has earned enough money to give up his job and write full time.
I read that article and was immediately overcome with jealousy. Wouldn't it be amazing to just discover that the account where your royalties are paid into suddenly has enough money for you to give up work. Why does that never happen to me? Why do I not have an army of fans buying my books? Why can't I write full time?

The reason I can't is because I have published one novel in the last five years. How are people supposed to become fans if I can't give them more things to read? I'm not Harper Lee.

So now is the time to start writing. Time to put aside that 30 minutes each day and get out that old manuscript and turn it into something that will generate fans.
James Patterson has millions of fans but then he has written and co-written hundreds of books.

Time to stop waiting to be discovered.

And so to my difficult second book. Is it worth finishing? Of course it is. Will it take hard work and perseverance? Of course it will. But I've done it once and I sure as hell can do it again.

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