First novels are rarely a writer’s best. I am learning why from my own experiences. I recently reread Vacation with a Stranger. I liked reading it. I was surprised how well it holds together. Over the last eight months I have been studying techniques in writing fiction. I made lots of mistakes in Vacation, but the book still works for me. My second book has been much more difficult to write. I’m not even half done with it yet. I’ve cut more out than I’ve added. I’ll never finish if I keep that up.
Partly, the problem is that my confidence has suffered badly. I imagined that when I self-published Vacation, the world would embrace it and I would sell thousands of copies. Actually, it has gone unnoticed. I have no idea how to market the book. It could be the greatest work of fiction ever written and nobody would ever find out about it. So much for my success fantasy.
I’m going to try to find an agent for the new book. This is nearly impossible to do. It’s not exactly a novel concept to look for representation. Agents are overwhelmed with authors sending unsolicited manuscripts. It may turn out that my hard work writing fiction is nothing more than a hobby.
As you might have guessed, I’m pretty discouraged. For the time being, I’m going to keep working on the new story. It’s a good one. If I can avoid the pitfalls, maybe it will be published.