Writing your first book is like visiting someplace new and strange for the first time. Writing your second book is like going back. There’s lots that’s familiar, you know what you like, and uncomfortable surprises are less likely.
One author said that writing the first book, “wasn’t any fun.” This time he wants to enjoy the process. This time around he’s going to do some things differently and he’s not going to do other things at all. Writing this book should be a much better experience.
Another author has already mined the learning from her first book. She’s learned how she writes and what makes a great book. She’ll be working with me and an editor she’s worked with before and she’s clear on what she expects. She’s also refined her process of researching, writing and revising, based on her experience the first time around. Everything should work better this time.
The third author is very different. We worked together on his first book and it was an intense learning and writing experience. We thought we would start work on another book this year. But his big lesson from book one was that he isn’t ready to write book two just yet. He knows that he has to do more preparation and that will make his next book better.
I think that writing a book should be a great learning experience. That’s especially true for your first book because you’re learning about your subject, but also about yourself and about the book writing process. When you get to your second book, almost all the learning is about the subject. That makes the process easier and more fun than it was the first time around.
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