I'll never forget when I got "the call" from my agent that I finally had a book contract. Years of hard work had finally paid off and my baby was going to be published. It wasn't long before my exuberant thoughts were replaced by the fear creeping into my mind that culminated into one thought.
He is going to expect me to do this again!
Yes, I was going to have to write another book. Trouble was, I had the luxury of years to write Proof and not under the pressure of any sort of deadline. If I didn't "feel" like writing a particular day—no one but me really cared.
Now, I had to write another one under a deadline and that worry began to eat away at my self confidence. Am I just a one book wonder? Can I write a 100,000 word novel in six-nine months?
These are some things I found that helped me write a novel in a much shorter time frame than the luxury I had of refining and refining words on my debut novel.
1. Write your first draft with little editing. This at first was hard for me but I have found it truly freeing. Whatever the length of the writing project it is you're writing, the first draft is just about getting words onto the paper. I've even stopped researching small points during the first draft as well. I'll simply make a notation in the ms and know this is an area I'll buffer up during the editing phase.
2. Make a goal and stick to it. I try and work well ahead of my publisher's deadline because real life does happen. But just like a real job, by signing a contract you have made a commitment to produce a product for your publisher. People are depending on you to finish it. Make a goal but definitely reward yourself when you finish it.
3. The BIC technique works—which stands for butt in chair. You have to sit and get the words onto paper. The reality of a professional author is that you will have to write when you don't feel like it. When you might be mildly under the weather. When the plot isn't working...
4. There is a dark point in writing every novel—but there is always light at the end. I've yet to come across an author who doesn't have a point in writing each novel where they doubt their qualifications as an author. Recognize this for what it is—a journey. There is a wonderful moment where you get to type "THE END" and release your baby into the world.
5. Take a day off each week. The Lord says to do this for a reason. Spend time with the Lord and your family. No one goes to their death bed wishing they would have worked more.
Above all, enjoy the struggle and the fun. Writing is a wonderful, unique adventure. What about you? How do you make your goals feasible?
Jordyn Redwood is a pediatric ER nurse by day, suspense novelist by night. She hosts Redwood’s Medical Edge, a blog devoted to helping contemporary and historical authors write medically accurate fiction. Her debut novel, Proof, garnered a starred review from Library Journal and has been endorsed by the likes of Dr. Richard Mabry, Lynette Eason, and Mike Dellosso to name a few. The second book in the Bloodline Trilogy, Poison, releases Feb, 2013. You can connect with Jordyn via her website at www.jordynredwood.net.
Thank you Jordyn, for your encouragement. Writing a manuscript is like eating an elephant. You just take one bite at a time