I started writing book two on January 1st. I finished the first draft on June 18th. It feels good to be done, sort of. I remember the same milestone when I finished my first book. I jumped up and down and waved my arms. “I’m done!” I yelled. “I’m going to be published.”
I’ve learned a few things since then. One lesson is that the work is just beginning. The hardest part of the novel is just waiting for me. It’s there at Chapter One, daring me to proceed. Be patient, my little novel, I’ll get back to you, soon.
I’ve put away book two for at least three weeks. I’m stepping away, allowing myself some distance before diving in again. In the meantime, I’ll add a few scenes to On Fallen Wings and make some additional adjustments before querying again next week. I’ll outline book three and do some needed research for the series. I’ll also prepare to move my family. That’s a longer story than my book—I won’t bore you with details.
My writing goal while working a first draft is 1,000 words daily. I met that goal, easily. I know, I know, it’s been more than 82 days since I started this book. (Draft one is 82,000 words.) I didn’t write every day. I wrote five days a week and took February off completely. Skipped a week in March, and wrote maybe 5 days total in June. I met the goal. Once the laptop opened, it didn’t close again until the master file grew by 1,000 words.
My revision goal for draft two is 10 pages per day. I’ll meet that goal. How do I know? I did it with my first book and On Fallen Wings. After that, each revision gets one day per chapter. There will be many revisions.
So, in a tiny way, I’m celebrating. Yay. I’m also very busy. That’s a good thing. I’m refreshed from vacation and full of ideas and motivation.
Writing a book is hard. It takes dedication. It takes practice. It takes sacrifice. Not everyone can say they’ve written a novel, though most people will tell you they’d like to try. I applaud any author, published or not, simply because of the effort that goes into the process. When you reach a writing milestone, celebrate for a moment, then go back to work. There’s always another story to tell.
If you're curious about the photo. I took it at the 2002 Winter Olympics. That's Apollo Anton Ohno after receiving his first gold medal.