Tuesday, 11 December 2012


My second book is nearly finished. Nearly ready to be sent out. This should fill me with excitement and joy of course but instead, anxiety and fear are my main emotions.
It's not entirely rational.
After all, I've done everything right with this book so I should be feeling confident.

With my first I did everything wrong -

I wrote it without really having any idea of what I what I was doing.
I didn't get it read by anyone.
I didn't leave it and go back to it.
I didn't revise it at all.
I sent it out as soon as it was finished.
To a few agents I picked out of a book.

But I got lucky. People liked it and with their help I revised it and although I didn't get either an agent or a book contract I got fairly close.
I put that book to one side after some traumatic rejections so I could concentrate on my second book and I used everything I learned to try and make this book as good as possible.
And this time I did everything I was supposed to.

I worked on it for nearly eighteen months, I had it read by crit groups and editors and I revised it many times. It's nearly as good as I can make it.

And logically of course, your second book should be better, it's what everyone says,  "The more you write the better you get." so why am I so worried?

Because -

Now I think I might have just got really lucky first time round.
Now I know exactly how hard it is.
Now I've invested real time and  effort into my dream.
Now I know how much I want it.
Now I know how difficult the market it.
Now I understand that it's not just about being a good writer - well written books get rejected every day after all - it's much more then that. The concept, the style,  the plot, the characters, they all have to be special. Special enough to make someone love it.

So, although I do think my writing, my style and my understanding of craft have all improved I don't necessarily think it's enough.
Even though I've done everything right this time and followed all the guidance I don't necessarily think it's enough.
I'd hope an agent or publisher could see the work and the craft invested in my work but it's NOT ENOUGH.

So, I have a severe case of secondbookitis and when (or if ) I get round to submitting my second novel it will be despite knowing everything I now know. It will be, in fact a huge leap of faith.
Wish me luck!


  1. Lorraine, it must be catching. I've been suffering from second bookitis for three years now. I'm three chapters short of the fourth time I'll be finishing this book and at long last I am happy with it. It was really hard to get back into the skin in which I finished my first novel and knew that this was it. But you don't need me to tell you about that. Maybe the only comfort I can offer is to tell you that we all suffer from this disease. Here's bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert talking about how the hardest act to follow is your own. Best wishes!

    1. Thanks Candy, every time I think it's going to get easier it actually gets harder! Nic to know I'm not alone.:)

  2. Thanks for sharing this interesting and educative information. I think many writers will find your contribution very helpful, I have equally learnt something from it.
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