In sharing my journey toward publication, it's my desire to inspire other writers. Many of you have said you've appreciated getting a "behind the scene" view at the various steps I've taken (either that or you're just being really nice!).
Some of you have already been in my spot and some are right behind me. Wherever you're at, I hope my blog can encourage you to keep persevering during the long uphill climb. The path to publication isn't easy, but it IS possible.
So, in getting more personal today, I thought I'd tackle the question Tabitha asked in her comment on my last post: What does it feel like to write after a contract? Is there new pressure?
I'm just starting to research and write my next contracted book. I'm absolutely overjoyed to have the green light to begin writing Book 2. During the past few months I wasn't at liberty to pick any ol' book idea and run with it. I'd agreed (and desired) to have the input of my publisher. We all wanted to choose carefully so we could find a setting and era beneficial to my long term career.
Now that I have the go-ahead, I'm delirious with the need to eat and breathe story life again. I have my character worksheets printed and my plot notebook started. I'm filling my research binder and plowing through stacks of history books.
In some ways, I view this next book the same as I have all of my others: I want everything about this one to be better than the last. Plot, characters, tension, setting, historical details. Everything.
No one else has put this pressure on me. Certainly not my agent or editors. No one has said I have to write a better book or they'll stop representing me or rip up my contract.
The only pressure I feel right now is what I'm putting upon myself. I want to challenge myself to improve in my writing skills whether it's my second book or my twenty-second. If I'm growing in my abilities then I'll hopefully satisfy my agent and editors. Even more important, I'll satisfy my readers. But mostly, I'll be able to take pride in doing my best with the gifts God's given me.
At some point, deadlines might add new stresses to my writing. Editing one book while writing another will pose challenges. But right now I still feel like I'm the same kind of writer I've always been: dedicated and determined.
Thanks, Tabitha, for asking such a thought-provoking question! Now here's my question for all of you: What kinds of pressures do you put upon yourself with your writing?