The Book Two Battle

It's fitting that we're shining the spotlight on Book Two (B2) this week. I am currently at an undisclosed, secret location working very hard on Book Two of the Never Sky trilogy. Right now, I can hear seagulls crying, and sea lions barking and the rhythmic note of a foghorn. As far as sitting with my laptop twelve hours a day goes, this is a pretty great place to do it.

Talia really nailed it yesterday. B2s introduce so many new elements to the writing process, it's amazing. I'm going to focus on the loss of focus. More specifically, the many voices that begin to chime in with B2.

Wait a minute. Before I continue, I want to say one thing, because it's important: I recognize that the B2 problem is a very good one to have. If you're on your B1, I feel you. I was there, wishing someone--anyone--would just read the darn thing. So these are fortunate problems... another stretch on the writer's road. We stand on wobbly legs, then we figure out walking, then running, and driving, and on we go, taking a left turn at new problems, then figuring that out and moving on. It's all in the journey, not the destination, as they say.

(Wow! Can you tell I've been spending a lot of time alone? Anyway. Let's continue.)

So back to the many voices... I have an editor, an agent, mentors, and now, the crazy thing--the coolest thing--is that I have readers. (I love you guys! Group hug!) And they have voices, and I love their voices. They have things to say about my writing and my characters and the story. And I want to know what they (you?) think! It's so exciting--I mean epic--to hear someone praise your book, or talk about it. Even the not-so-positive things amaze me, because someone read my writing. Read my writing.

But the thing about many voices is this: the more you listen, the more your own voice can fade, growing quieter and quieter. I admire those for whom that's not true, but for me, it's a struggle. I have a hard time hearing criticism, and then not trying to fix it, or to better it somehow, or, totally unproductively, to just plain stew in the unfixableness of the thing, which is to make other people happy. And guys... we're all grown ups, yes? We know happiness is our own charge. It's a responsibility we have to ourselves. We know this, right?

(OK..... I promise I'll get out soon and, you know, interact with people.... Moving on.)

So. What I'm learning is to protect the writing space fiercely. What I'm learning is that there can be many voices, but that when it's time to write, what I want to hear, what I need to hear is me. Okay, and maybe some seagulls, foghorns and sea lions, too.

Thanks for listening to my voice, and if you're into it, if you'll indulge me, I'd love to hear yours below.

Finally, for no good reason other than that David Gray is playing as I write this, I want to say: let's go where we can shine.


Great! I love it!....Luster , Falcon Punches and <333!!!

If I ever get to a book 2 I'm going to beg you for your undisclosed location. Sounds perfect! Happy writing (fade, fade, fade...)

Thanks, Anonymous, and PB, I will totally share the secret locay with you... *whispers*

Go for it, Veronica! The only voice you need to listen to right now is your own heart. Write to delight yourself, and you'll carry us right along with you.

How great that you're hiding out! Maybe the voices are a little quieter there. Dare I throw down a T.S. Eliot quote? Til human voices wake us....(Couldn't resist.) (Never can.)

Loving your voice today, Veronica. It's an inspiration to hear it/read it. I too just plain stew in the unfixableness of the thing. After I get feedback on my work, I sit back and say, "Gah!"and tug on my hair--a lot. It's probably not very healthy, but when the hair pulling is done and I finally "get it" are the moments I savor. Love this crazy thing called writing :)

Ah, I like the look of your secret locations. We have the gulls over here but not the sea-lions :-)

Book 2 sounds like a scary prospect!

Yes yes yes! I'm struggling with this too right now. Thanks for the fabulous post!

Lia, thanks for that <3 Beth- what a great quote! Naomi, there really isn't a way around the hair pulling, is there? Jess - hugs to you. We shall prevail! xo V

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