Writing is a journey, and each project you work on is its own adventure. Deciding to write a novel is a huge choice, and when done it’s a huge accomplishment. You learn so much…and before you know it, it’s over and it’s time to write another one. These are some of the things I realised when writing novel two.
1. Finishing a project is so important
Writers will start many projects. And they’ll leave many unfinished. Finishing a novel is so important though. You know it at the time, but you realise it even more once you start writing the second novel. You have a clearer sense of the process, a better idea of what to expect and how many edits you’ll need to make. Finishing projects is the only way to ensure you practice every part of the journey, leaving you better equipped for each new novel you write.
2. You’re a stronger writer than before
You grow all the time as a writer. Every time you put pen to paper you are practicing your craft, growing your skills and learning new techniques. You notice it when you’re writing your second novel. You feel stronger. And hey, if you don’t feel it I assure you, you are.
3. It’s still difficult
Yeah…being a stronger writer doesn’t make it easier. You still have to plot and plan, name characters, find the time to write, delete scenes, add scenes, screw up notes and launch them at the wall, write more, push through writers block, beat the slumps, edit, edit and edit some more. It’s not an easy process. Writing novel two made me realise it’s still difficult. (But still wonderful!)
4. You’re still figuring out your style
Your first novel isn’t necessarily the genre you’ll be strongest in or enjoy the most. It’s always okay to change your preferences and write the story you want to tell regardless of labels and expectations. My first novel was a crime/mystery thriller. The novel I’m working on now is more of a psychological thriller. But I’ve unfinished projects in fantasy, and YA. Your second novel is still early days, and you’re still finding the style you enjoy the most.
5. Your first novel needs more work
A slightly different one here, but still a realisation for some. When you write novel two you realise novel one needs more work. That was the case for me anyway. The more I write the more I find myself discovering ways I could strengthen my first novel. It’s frustrating at times, but mostly it’s exhilarating and an exciting learning curve.
6. You have another chance
If you queried your first novel, sent it out to agents and publishers, you may have been met with rejections. It’s not uncommon for some writers to withdraw a novel from submissions with the intention to work on it, or simply try again. Having a second novel in the works is your second chance to submit to your dream agents, offering something stronger and potentially even better.
7. You are a committed writer
From the moment you pick up a pen and write, you are a writer. From the moment you pick up that pen and write again you are committed. But I wanted to add this point, because writing a novel is hard. It is long, it can be exhausting, it’s a challenge. And here you are, doing it all over again. That’s pretty amazing!
What did you learn during the writing of your second book? And beyond that? I’d love to hear your thoughts so do share them below,