Book Two and the Art of Letting Go

heatbookI have learned an important thing about my writing process this year, and that is that I am a loyal, one-book kind of girl. Writing a novel is very much like entering a love affair for me—it’s consuming. I spend all day day-dreaming about my characters and spend sleepless nights devoted to their well-being. I become completely focused on what they want and need and how they are feeling. So it should not have felt like a surprise when every time I jotted down a note about book two while I was still editing book one it felt like a betrayal.

But now THE CITY BAKER’S GUIDE TO COUNTRY LIVING is solidly out of my hands. The editing process is done, the book has been designed, and the focus is now on marketing and publicity. My work is done. And it feels a little like a break-up. Well, not a break-up, exactly—we are still in touch daily—but we are definitely seeing other people. Book one is playing the field. It’s looking good–like it’s been going to the gym–in it’s shiny, new advance reader copy jacket. Like an old lover I stalk it online to see whose hands it’s been in. It looks happy. I wish it well.

In the meantime, I am trying to learn to let it go.

But I feel afraid to enter into a new relationship. What if this one doesn’t work out? What if I get rejected? What if I don’t feel the same way I did with my first novel? Will I ever love another story as much as I loved THE CITY BAKER? Can my heart stand the strain of the risks and leaps it has to take in search of that feeling of joy and connection when the words and images are coming together? Am I ready to feel the warm breath of new dialogue on my ear? The truth is I don’t think I will ever feel ready. But I also can’t imagine living without a new book for the rest of my life. And seeing THE CITY BAKER’S GUIDE TO COUNTRY LIVING out there in the world makes me feel a little alone. I know it’s time.

So, like a newly single woman taking her first, tender steps on Match.com, I am flirting with a new story. We are in that wonderful early stage of a relationship, where I find all of the character’s quirks charming and I’m ignoring all the plot holes.

I’m hoping this might be the one.

The following two tabs change content below.

Louise Miller

Louise Miller is the author of THE CITY BAKER'S GUIDE TO COUNTRY LIVING (Pamela Dorman Books/Viking/August 9, 2016), the story of a commitment-phobic pastry chef who discovers the meaning of belonging while competing in the cut-throat world of Vermont county fair baking contests. Find out more at louisemillerauthor.tumblr.com.

Latest posts by Louise Miller (see all)

Author: Louise Miller

Louise Miller is the author of THE CITY BAKER'S GUIDE TO COUNTRY LIVING (Pamela Dorman Books/Viking/August 9, 2016), the story of a commitment-phobic pastry chef who discovers the meaning of belonging while competing in the cut-throat world of Vermont county fair baking contests. Find out more at louisemillerauthor.tumblr.com.

8 Replies to “Book Two and the Art of Letting Go”

  1. I love this post Louise! You described letting go just like it is, wonderment, some anxiety, but knowing if will bring new things. Its a choice I make also to let go of the past that was not so good, to make room for the new…as I struggle to carry out this concept at times. I was sad when I learned the GBC was going, but its so good to know its just turning a page and onto the Facebook page!.

  2. Dear Louise-this is my favorite post you’ve written this year! May this one work out even better than the first…which I can’t wait to meet.
    -Kate

  3. “What if I don’t feel the same way I did with my first novel?”

    This was sort of solved for me when, a little way into my second novel, some characters from my first book barged in, saying “Hey, we’re here. Sorry we’re late. You started without us? That’s cool. Where are the snacks?”

    1. Anthony, thank you for this! I love when characters barge in, especially when they demand snacks! My 2nd book is set in the same fictional town as my first, so I have the opportunity for some old friends to make an appearance–something to look forward to (and take comfort in!)

Comments are closed.