I'm a member of many writer-oriented groups, among them the Guppies, which is Sisters in Crime's subgroup for un-published writers. Quite a few of us stay on after we're published, and it's interesting to be reminded of what that pre-publication angst was comprised of. Of course, mid-list writers have to make sure the next book is good enough to get attention, because that section of writers has no guarantee of continued publication. And I read today that Anne Perry's editor is quite critical of her work, urging one more edit to get it just right, even after all the books she has published.

(If you're a frequent reader of this blog, you'll know that I'm all in favor of the "big guys and gals" getting edited just as rigorously as everyone else. Just this morning I read a sentence three times in a "big guy" novel and finally decided, yes, I was right: that sentence started out to say one thing and ended up all wrong.)

So there's this range of writing that begins in some nebulous galaxy of the mind where we decide we'd like to write something down that resembles a novel. And there is whatever is next for you: the third or the sixth or the sixtieth novel. Each one presents a challenge, whether it's getting it right or making it fresh. While fame as a writer may get a person automatic sales/readers, it won't make the process any easier if that writer wants a quality product. In fact, it may well get harder over time to satisfy both the readers and oneself. It's a daunting prospect, but one that we all seem willing to confront, maybe because of that insistent little voice that whispers in our ears: "The next one will be better. Go ahead and write it."

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Comment by Peg Herring on July 3, 2009 at 10:24pm
I love that! It should be my mantra: If it was easy everyone would do it! If it was easy everyone would do it! If it was easy everyone would do it!
Comment by Flic Manning on July 3, 2009 at 12:28am
Oh I understand this too well! I do not expect the path to get "easier" but I do expect that my confidence will grow as I am challenged. It is part of my joy in writing - that I am not really sure where it will take me or if it will be what I wanted. The stress will perhaps be less financially one becoming part of the "big boys" club - but the stress is part of the journey. If it was easy everyone would do it. the that it can be hard and we do it anyway is what makes us writers in the first place. An interesting post -thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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