This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
When I first started writing I sat down at my laptop and started to write what I thought was a great story and a book I’d like to read. Then once my manuscript was finished I thought I might send it off to some publishers and agents. It was about then I realised that it needed to be a bit more than a nice story.
Suddenly there were other things to consider; who was my target audience? What else was like it on the market? Would it sell? All things that had never crossed my mind when I started writing my nice little story.
I’m currently writing a new book but it’s taking me three times as long to write it. I keep getting freaked out and panicked. I’m 20,000 words in and I’m wondering if people will want to read it; whether agents will think it will sell, and whether it’s original enough. It means that for every thousand words I write, I probably spend just as long thinking maybe I should write something else.
The problem with being unpublished and unrepresented is that I can’t check it with anyone. I have to keep the idea close to my chest in case it is the brilliant idea I think it is, then I can’t run the risk of someone else writing it instead. I can’t sub my new novel until I finish it. It means I could potentially write 80-100,000 words again on a novel which no one might want to read.
As well as writing my work in progress novel, I’m also podcasting a novel as I write it. With no expectation of publishing An American Wedding, it means that I don’t over think too much about it when I write it. I sit down every other week, and usually within an evening after work I write my 3,500 word chapter. I enjoy writing it and it just comes out.
Yet when I go to write the work in progress I sit there staring blank and scared and doubting every paragraph. I’ve almost abandoned it twice now to write other novels in a panic that my work in progress isn’t going to be saleable. I’ve got to stop worrying about what’s going to happen after I finish the book, as if I don’t stop worrying there isn’t going to be a finished book anyway.
I guess I should learn to write under pressure. After all, I imagine that if you are a published author you have expectations you’ve got to live up to. Your next book has to be just as good or if not better than your last. Which means whether I get published or not, I’m always going to be writing under pressure – I best get used to it!