Sunday, January 10, 2010

Writer’s Block or Second Novel Jitters

I started writing on a regular basis about two years ago after joining a fabulous group of woman. Three months later I had the first chapter of my first romance novel complete, a task I had wanted to do for many years. As the months rolled on I continued to write. With the tutelage of my writing group and a desire to finally reach the dream of being published I kept on through family dysfunctions, broken computers and, illness. Six months after finishing that first polished chapter, I finished Awenasa Island, packed it in an oversize envelope and sent it away to a friend in the publishing world to critique.

The result of my hard work wasn’t a publishable novel, but countless lessons in what to do better for the next one. My review came back marked in red ink and, all though encouraging, pretty much ended my dreams of publishing the story. I could have taken the critique as the last nail on my writing coffin, but instead I chose to see it as the first building block to achieving my dreams. I sat down that very day and wrote the first few sentences to my second romance.

Fast forward six more months down the road. While editing my second novel, a best seller I was sure, I received and email from an editor and partial owner of a new up and coming publishing company. I had published the first three chapters of my novel on line, and she had read them. Even more, she had given them to her partner to read and they both loved the story. I put my life on hold and edited till my fingers went numb for two solid months. I fell in love with the story all over again. I held my breath and sent my baby away to Bluewood Publishing.

I was so sure my story would be rejected I regretted telling anyone I sent it. After all, this was the same story I had hidden in the back of my desk. Ten days later I received a contract. Fairy tale ending―I should say so.

That was two months ago. The “oh-my-goodness” factor has worn away and the reality has set in. I gave myself a few weeks away from writing to bask in the glow of victory. A few weeks became a month. One month became two. Every time I sit down to edit my second book I freeze. In the back of my mind I keep thinking, what if the first time was a fluke. What if the second novel is crap? What if I can never write anything but partial rough drafts again? Every time I sit down to write the doubt stops me cold.

I’ve tried starting a new novel, but around chapter six the same fear set in. What if, what if, what if…I can’t take it anymore!

My wheels are spinning and I’m putting in the effort but I’m only getting stuck deeper in the doubt. Oh, writing fairies where are you?

Anyone got any advice for a girl stuck in the mud?

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