Three Realities Regarding Your First Book
In the last posting I recommended that authors write the first part of their books last. I was delighted to learn that the post drew an enormous amount of interest. As a result, I am going to allocate the next couple of weeks’ blogs to similar writing topics.
In the nearly three decades I have spent in publishing, I have worked with twice as many first timers as veteran authors. Today I will use that knowledge and focus on certain inescapable truisms that may help the new or aspiring author plan his or her book:
1. The first book is almost always the hardest to get on paper: Research shows that it takes ten years or 10,000 hours of “deliberate practice” to perform at “genius levels” at anything (e.g. athletes, musicians, and yes, writers). At the other end of the genius spectrum is the novice, inexperienced performer. That explains, in part, why the first book is always the toughest to write.
2. It will always take you longer than you thought to finish it: Most first time authors, when asked, will say they can complete their first book in six months (of course the length of the book, plus other factors like the amount of research required, are huge variables). The reality is that most first books of average length, say 224 pages, will take authors more like ten months to write than six.
3. You won’t be happy with your first draft: Or your second either, especially if you are a perfectionist. I don’t know if I have met anyone who has really been happy with his first draft. I know I hated the first six or so drafts of my first book, and that is hardly an exaggeration. Be prepared to prepare several drafts of your manuscript. I also suggest that you write all the chapters so that you can get a first draft quickly rather than getting stuck rewriting chapter one over and over before moving on.
Keep logging on to get more tips and advice for the less experienced writer and those of you planning your next book project.