Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Writing is Hard

For more than a year, I've been working on the sequel to my novel, Songsaengnim: A Korea Diary. But for almost as long, I haven't finished a new chapter. Because writing is hard.

Songsaengnim has been out for about a year and a half, and while it was a big accomplishment for me, I've found it hard to get excited about it. When I was writing it, I would post the rough drafts of each chapter on a blog for anyone to read. And what was really great (and terrifying) about that experiment was that it was open for anyone to share an opinion about my writing.

What was great about that feedback was that it was all positive. Many wrote to me and told me how they enjoyed it; some even asked me why I would put the book online, for free, when I could make money selling it. Some also told me, as the chapters came out, that they couldn't wait for the next chapter to be posted.

It was feedback like that that kept me writing.

Since Songsaengnim's release, I haven't heard much in the way of feedback. One of my neighbours, after having read the book, told me that she loved it and couldn't wait for the sequel to come out. One of my followers, who won a copy of the book through my Where In Ottawa challenge, tweeted to me, telling me he enjoyed it.

But I have given out lots of copies of the book and I have sold others to friends, only to hear nothing.

I would kill for feedback, folks. It would mean the world to me to read a fair and honest review of my book. Because I'm working on the sequel, and I'd like to know if I'm on the right track with this story or if I should give it up.

I have rough drafts of the first three chapters of the sequel, Gyeosunim, posted on a blog. But I'm not happy with them. To me, they're trite, simple, more of the same from the first book. For the sequel, I'd like to do something different. I want to make the main character's thoughts more ethereal, to come and go. Roland, in the next book, is going to drift in and out of reality, and I'm hoping that my writing will reflect that.

I've started re-writing the first chapter and will post it in the upcoming weeks. But have patience.

Because writing is hard. But I'll get there, especially with your continued support.

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