The One

Even though it's only the second week of February, I'm well behind on getting started on my next book. Sure I can use that I had to go through copy edits for Good-bye To All That (Touchstone, July 13, 2010) in January as an excuse for not being well into my next book, but I won't.

What kept me from saying, "Okay, idea that's been living on my hard drive for a while, you're next!" is that I had no idea if that idea was the one I wanted to live with for most of the rest of the year. I know from experience that I need to live with an idea for a while. I'm not one of those writers how can just bang out a book in a few short weeks. For me things need to simmer, stew and marinate and I'm always willing to let them sit a little longer to make sure I really understand what I'm trying to say with the story.

Also, I have to consider what will sell. The truth is anyone can write a book, but fewer people can write one a publishing house will buy and fewer still a book that the general public will want to shell out money for. That's the hard and plain truth about making a go of a career in publishing--you have to sell what you write and write what you can sell. By the way, most writers aren't rich. Lots of us juggle 'real' jobs so that we can (almost) afford to write for a living. This is because books that sell big are few and far between, but there's always the faint glimmer of hope that the next one will be The One.

For me the next one won't be Hard Up. I agreed with my editor that something needs to happen with my modest writing career to give me the clout to write a first person male perspective book that opens with the main character jerking his turkey. I'm nothing if not pragmatic, so I'm willing to let Hard Up go...at least for now.

The good news is one of my ideas that's been rattling around my brain and hard drive for sometime now just feels right. I feel like I have a good enough understanding of my characters, what they want and what will happen to see it through from beginning, middle and to the end. Better yet, I'm excited about it. And who knows? This one might be The One.

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