Indie Author Weekly

127: Why each new book is both harder AND easier to write than the previous book

August 31, 2021 Sagan Morrow Episode 128
Indie Author Weekly
127: Why each new book is both harder AND easier to write than the previous book
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Indie Author Weekly
127: Why each new book is both harder AND easier to write than the previous book
Aug 31, 2021 Episode 128
Sagan Morrow

Have you ever wondered whether writing books gets easier or harder over time? Well, that’s exactly what we’re addressing on today’s episode of Indie Author Weekly!  

This is the podcast for indie authors, aspiring authors, and curious bookworms who want the inside scoop, tips and motivation, and behind-the-scenes journey of writing and self-publishing books.   

TUNE IN NOW to find out the top 5 reasons why writing each new book is both harder AND easier to write than the previous book...  

Resources & links mentioned in this episode:  

Let's chat about this episode:  

Support the show (https://saganmorrow.com/secretpodcast)

Show Notes Transcript

Have you ever wondered whether writing books gets easier or harder over time? Well, that’s exactly what we’re addressing on today’s episode of Indie Author Weekly!  

This is the podcast for indie authors, aspiring authors, and curious bookworms who want the inside scoop, tips and motivation, and behind-the-scenes journey of writing and self-publishing books.   

TUNE IN NOW to find out the top 5 reasons why writing each new book is both harder AND easier to write than the previous book...  

Resources & links mentioned in this episode:  

Let's chat about this episode:  

Support the show (https://saganmorrow.com/secretpodcast)

Hello and welcome back to Indie Author Weekly! This is the podcast for indie authors, aspiring authors, and curious bookworms who want the inside scoop, tips and motivation, and the behind-the-scenes journey of writing and self-publishing books. I’m your host, Sagan Morrow (or @Saganlives on Twitter & Instagram), and I’m a productivity strategist and an author of polyamorous romcoms.

Now, have you ever wondered whether writing books gets easier or harder over time? Well, that’s exactly what we’re addressing on today’s episode of Indie Author Weekly!

But first, don’t miss an episode: You can now get all Indie Author Weekly podcast episodes plus book and writing updates delivered directly to your inbox each week at SaganMorrow.com/behindthescenes—link is in the show notes.

Now let’s get into this episode of the Indie Author Weekly podcast. Today, I want to share why every new book you write, as an author, is both harder AND easier to write than the previous one.

My current work-in-progress, Small Town Stilettos, is my eighth romantic comedy. So far I’ve already written and published 7 romcoms in the Polyamorous Passions series, and this one is sort of a spin-off book… It's set in the same world, but we only get a glimpse of the characters in the main series, in just one of the chapters.

By the way, you can learn about all of those romcoms at SaganMorrow.com/books (link is in the show notes), or you can search “Sagan Morrow” on your favourite e-bookstore. 

With this being my eighth book, you might think that writing it is way easier than writing my first book. Buuuut that’s not quite been the case! And actually, even though this is the eighth novel I’ll be publishing, I’ve also written and published several non-fiction business books, and I’ve lost count of how many other novels I wrote over the years as a child and teenager and young adult. So I’ve written a lot of books in the past 3 decades! But for our purposes, the way I track my books is based on my published works or works-in-process-of-publication, because that’s an easier way of going about it.

Now, I’ve mentioned in previous episodes here on Indie Author Weekly that I’ve had some struggles with writing my current romcom, Small Town Stilettos. The thing is, it’s actually not so much the writing itself that I’ve been struggling with… the biggest hurdle I’ve faced, with this particular book, is giving myself permission to work on it. There are so many other things going on in my life and business right now—like moving house and offering new productivity coaching services—and it’s extremely distracting! It’s been tough to shake off the feeling of guilt when I sit down to write, because I feel like I “should” be working on other things.

So that’s been frustrating, to say the least. And I think that type of feeling, that guilt or the distraction with other tasks we “should” be working on, is a really common experience for writers, regardless of whether this is your first book or your eighth.

With that in mind, let’s explore the actual topic for today’s episode: why every new book you write is both harder AND easier than the previous book you wrote.

In my experience, there are 5 main reasons why each new book is easier to write: 

  1. Your skill improves with each book, so your ability to tell stories comes more easily and more naturally than it used to.
  2. You “come into your own” with your writing style and voice, building on each previous book to get to this point.
  3. Your confidence in your own abilities gets stronger the more that you write—especially when you reread your own work and can SEE the incredible improvements you’ve made from your first book compared to your latest.
  4. You start to build a bit of a following with readers, so you know that someone is already eager and excited to read your next book.
  5. You have a good handle on character interactions and relationships, and if you’re featuring the same characters in each book, you really KNOW them—you don’t have to keep getting to know an entire cast of new characters.

And here are the 5 main reasons why each new book is harder to write, again, in my experience: 

  1. While your storytelling skills have improved, you’ll be more inclined to get into the complexities and nuances of your story—which means that where you might have skimmed over a part of a story in a previous book, now, at this point, you’ll want to dig in deeper. This, no doubt, is also why each book I write is longer than the previous one! Very common for many authors.
  2. Although you’ve now identified your writing style and voice, you might now be at the point of wanting to experiment with it—so in a way, you’re almost starting from scratch again.
  3. You start to realize just how much farther you still have to go with your writing and storytelling abilities—and you begin wondering if this book is going to be much better than your previous one.
  4. You’re a little bit worried that the readers who’ve enjoyed your previous books won’t like this one.
  5. Because you’ve done so many rewrites and deleted old scenes you wrote, and because you have a million and one ideas, sometimes you get concerned that **maybe you already wrote this scene, or that snippet of dialogue, or that inner monologue**, in a previous book.

So those are the top 5 reasons for why every new book you write is both easier AND harder to write than the previous book. Do you agree with this assessment? I would LOVE to know your thoughts! Post about it on Twitter or Instagram and tag me, @Saganlives, so we can discuss this further. 

And, yes—you’ll notice that this list of why each book is both harder AND easier to write, is simply two sides of the same coin. They feed into each other. That makes every new book a whole new adventure to write!

And honestly, if we as writers spent as much time actually WRITING as we do WORRYING about our writing, we’d probably publish new books at least twice as quickly. When we start getting anxious or succumb to the struggle with writing, that usually means we’re a) overthinking it, b) letting our ego get in the way, and c) not having a good time with the writing experience. And that defeats the entire purpose of it! Writing and our creative pursuits are a joyful and delightful experience. Take your ego out of the equation, turn your worrying habit into a writing practice, and see what comes from it.

If you want more on this topic, then I encourage you to check out the episode where we address imposter syndrome—that’s Episode 106 of this Indie Author Weekly podcast—or the episode where we talked about being a tortured artist, in Episode 119 of this Indie Author Weekly podcast. You’ll get a little motivational pep talk and some of my own vulnerabilities in those episodes, which might help you work through this if you’re struggling with it in your own writing.

All right. That, my friend, is a wrap for today’s episode of Indie Author Weekly! Access the show notes for this episode, including all links and additional resources, at SaganMorrow.com/podcast.

Thank you so much for tuning in. Please take 2 minutes to rate and review Indie Author Weekly on Apple Podcasts—I really appreciate your support. 

Until next week, this is Sagan Morrow, signing off the Indie Author Weekly podcast.