In fact, until Monday, I hadn’t written “The End”—actually I don’t write that anyway—on a fiction manuscript since I finished the first draft of Blind Fury in December 2011.
Which makes Monday’s finish of the first draft of Blind Justice kind of a big deal!
I was starting to wonder if I still had what it takes to write a book to its full conclusion. I’d done it before, plenty of times—in fact, Blind Fury was my fourth completed manuscript—but just not lately.
It wasn’t writer’s block, more like a lack of clear focus.
Scrivener For Dummies provided a distraction for a good part of 2011, but even after that I was all over the place. I started a follow-up to BF, but then worried that maybe I should write something that wasn’t linked, just in case BF didn’t sell.
Then I got to a certain point and felt like I wasn’t at a place in my writing where I could do that story justice, so I started something completely different.
I was halfway through that second something when I decided I was going to forge my own path and dive into self-publishing.
The series is king, which meant it was time to return to the Blind Fury follow-up and drop the manuscript I’d put over 30K into. It’s amazing how knowing what you want, and what you need to do to get there, makes all the difference.
So, now I finally have that fifth manuscript under my belt, and a sixth one halfway done.
My advice? If you’ve never finished a book, pick a story, stick with it, and finish it. Don’t be distracted by the plot bunnies. Capture them somewhere—Evernote maybe?—and get back to work.
You don’t have to love the first draft—that’s what revisions and editors are for—you just have to get to the end. It’s a lot easier to write half a story than a whole one. Until you complete one, you’ll never know if you can.
And once you do, you’ll have the confidence that you can do it again.
Oh, and I’d recommend not waiting two years to make it happen. 😉
Image credit: By EWikist at en.wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons