As some of you know, I wrote a children’s book! I’m also writing a novel based off my experiences in college. This weekend, I came up with two other novel ideas, and last week I came up with another children’s book idea. (Now, I can’t come up with a blog post, but hey, one thing at a time!)
Writing is a tricky business. This morning I was doubting the entire concept of my first novel, and completely confident in my children’s book. I keep thinking of JK Rowling’s advice:
“Even if it isn’t the piece of work that finds an audience, it will teach you things you could have learned no other way. The discipline involved in finishing a piece of creative work is something on which you can truly pride yourself. You’ll have turned yourself from somebody who’s ‘thinking of’, who ‘might’, who’s ‘trying’, to someone who DID. And once you’ve done it you’ll know you can do it again. That is an extraordinarily empowering piece of knowledge. So do not ever quit out of fear of rejection.”
I’m struggling with my inner doubts and the (maybe overly) confident voice. I keep telling myself that if I don’t believe in myself, nobody else will. I keep telling myself that I should just quit my job and work on all the ideas bouncing around in my head right now (I’m not going to… unfortunately). I keep telling myself to get up early one day and just it at the computer and write, no excuses. Do I finish one book before starting on another?
I’ve also noticed how my writing process has changed since graduating college. I used to sit down at the computer, and write it all in one sitting and then be done. I would maybe re-read it once, move a comma or two, and then call it good. Now, I sit down, write (hopefully uninterrupted) and when I’m done for the day, I’m nowhere near done mentally. After I write something now, I agonize over every little detail for weeks before I can get myself to look at it again. “Is there too much dialogue?” “Is that portion even necessary?” “Should I reorder these events?” I mentally comb through the details of what I just wrote until there is nothing more for me to agonize over. Then I re-read it, and revise. I’m noticing a difference between editing and revising that I rarely thought of in college.
I am currently in the middle of this process after writing a draft of my query letter for the first children’s book. After a lot of research about query letters, what to include, what not to include, what the publishers look for, I wrote a basic query letter to try and pitch my book. Then yesterday I was driving around and I thought, “I need a better hook in my query letter.” Whether I’m in the shower, driving around, or trying to sleep, I am constantly thinking about what I am currently writing or what I last wrote. Are writers ever really finished with a work? Will we ever be fully satisfied?
The purpose of this post is basically seeking answers/advice/common ground with any fellow writers. I would love advice on query letters, first time authors, writing process, etc. If you have answers to one of my many questions, advice, or general comments, please, please, please let me know. I would love to hear from you!