The Thing About A Second Book

It’s kinda funny. You hear all these people talking about how they’re writing a book, their first book. You hear all about their struggles, their joys and triumphs, and every step in between. But then, the book is published and you never hear from most of them again. At least, not regarding their writing process. You never really see much of people’s journey writing their second book, their third, or their fourth. Not until the “it’s published!” notifications that rolls around on your social media.

So what is it about writing the first book that’s so different that the second? I don’t really know the answer to that. Maybe it’s that when you write the first book, everything’s so new, and you’re all excited and want to share what you’re learning?

But there are some things I think are just as important for people to know when writing a second book that’s different than writing the first.

Your standards are different, higher. You’ve already been down this path before and now that you have, you have higher standards for yourself. You know you can do better, so you push yourself. Which can cause a lot of frustration, especially when you can’t seem to get the words on the page to behave the way you want them to.

Readers expect at least the same quality from you, if not a higher quality. They’ve read your work and they know what you do well. And they want to see more of it. Which puts pressure on you, the writer, to craft a novel that’s at least at the same quality level, if not better. And you’re putting the same pressure on yourself.

What worked the first time may not work the second. The way you write is always constantly evolving, especially if you’re constantly trying to improve your craft. It can be frustrating when what worked the first time doesn’t work the second. But! It means you can find new ways to do the same thing, which can be a fun adventure.

These are just some things that I’ve learned, but I’m by no means an expert. So chime in! If you’ve discovered things about writing a second book that are different than writing a first, tell me! I’ll add it to the post.

Happy Friday! 🙂

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2 thoughts on “The Thing About A Second Book

  1. TaCktiX says:

    I’m in the same boat with a second book. I wrote the first draft more or less on schedule, and fell so far out of love with what I wrote (those pesky high standards) that I’m just now, over 6 months later, wanting to give a good look at it.

    And likewise, I don’t want to chronicle how this book is going beyond “it’s going, and the rough progress bar on the right is increasing.” It’s like my will to share is gone now. And I don’t think that will change anytime soon.

  2. Kate Sparkes says:

    I talked less about the process of writing my second book for a few reasons. The biggest was that my blog audience was shifting from mostly writers to a mix of writers plus readers who enjoyed my first book. I want my blog to be interesting to the readers who buy my work, and they’re not necessarily looking to read about my fears and frustrations over a book they feel like they’ve already waited too long for.

    The other thing is that I realized how little I have to contribute in terms of advice. My first books have done well, but I’m certainly not an expert on anything. And there are a thousand other blogs where people can hear writers talking about writing.

    My blog has been rather quiet as I try to find balance between writing posts, reader-focused posts, promo for other authors, and the personal stuff that sets my blog apart from others.

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