After I finished writing my first novel I felt a sense of accomplishment because a goal had been achieved. I realized I had done something that most people only talk about doing. I felt good to say the least. After I queried different agents and experienced the impersonal and personal rejections I tried to edit my manuscript. Then, I got tired of rereading the same story over and over. I knew the story backwards and forwards, and I had no idea what I was doing as far as editing went. So, I laid my manuscript aside. I had read enough about other writers’ experiences to know that even the best writers had been rejected, and that often times the first novel they wrote was never published. All that was left for me to do was to start on my second novel.
The moment I sat down in front of my laptop and opened up my word processing program I realized a difficult truth, writing is a lonely endeavor. I found myself sitting alone staring at a white screen with a blinking cursor. The longer I stared, the blinking turned into a throbbing that was in rhythm with the flow of blood to my head as I grew more and more frustrated. When I began writing my first novel I had an ending in my head, (it wasn’t the ending that I ended up writing), I knew the three main characters, I knew the conflict, and all I had to do was let the characters tell me their story. The problem now is I have no story.
It doesn’t matter how many years you’ve been writing, writing is not easy! I guess to the average person it might seem that it would be. We all know of some of those authors out there who seem to put out a 300 page novel every other month. And they are best-sellers because the book carries the name of that author. But, I would be willing to bet that 9 out of 10 of those author’s books have the same story with different character names and maybe different setting. I’m not knocking the writer, I’m just making the point that writing a fresh story is not easy. Ever since I finished that first novel I have been trying and I have little to nothing to show for my effort. This is my frustration. Maybe I’m wrong and for some writers the story does come easy, but for me it has been a difficult and lonely process. Just because you do something once doesn’t mean that you have it all figured out. Honestly, I have no idea what I’m doing. But, I keep telling myself, if you can do it once then you can do it again.