Not that I have had a hit (yet), but I am already experiencing the difference in creating your first public creative work versus your second. I am not surprised there are so many one hit wonders out there.
Essentially, I wrote the first book for no one but myself, and maybe a few friends. I solved each question and dilemma with gut check of what felt right for me. I created the story I wanted to read and I am amazed how much I still like reading it. I still don’t cringe and wish I had made it any different.
|My first love, about first love.|
That was all before I entered the world of self-publishing and books reviews and genre discussion boards. Opinions on writing to sell books and trends and over-saturation are in my head and hard to completely ignore. There are other voices in my head now, critiquing each choice and it is more difficult to hear my own voice, my gut check, through the others.
Don’t get me wrong, writing is still a blast. I really do get to day dream, then write it down and call it a (fledgling) career. But I am also spending part of my day marketing book one, and sometimes having a hard time finding the right audience, the right blog reviewer, the right words to explain the unique, creative story I made. I find myself doing a lot of “well, it’s not this, and it’s not that, but it has a little of this and a little of that.” Sometimes comparison is the only way to describe something new. I want to say, “just read it, then you’ll get what I’m saying.” Marketing my unique voice has its unique challenges.
Of course, that is part of the benefit of having a book two. Hopefully I will already have an audience who read book one and understand my unique voice and look forward to book two.
If you lose touch with your unique voice when creating that second book or album or painting, you lose the audience that fell in love with your work in the first place. You become a one hit wonder.
Thank God it’s spring because walking has become an important part of my creative process. Walking seems to help me clear the “you really should’s” out of my head: you should follow trends, you should have your second book ready to be released immediately after your first, you should add some vampires, zombies, astronauts or angels to your new adult romance.
My gut tells me I should write to please me, that my unique voice has a place and purpose. Time to get back to writing and listening to it.