While my debut year ended six months ago, I still think of the things I’m discovering now about the writing life as an extension of those early days. With that in mind, as I transition into long-term career mode, I’ll continue to post about this phase of writing as part of my Navigating a Debut Year series.
Remember my recent good news with G. P. Putnam’s Sons? A two-book deal is thrilling, but in my world is also unchartered territory. Book one in the Putnam sale is BLUE BIRDS, a historical verse novel I started researching almost two and a half years ago (It was surreal to discover someone has already added it to Goodreads!). For most of that time (barring a few weeks of revision work on my forthcoming picture book, OVER IN THE WETLANDS), I’ve been able to focus solely on this manuscript.
Now’s the time everything changes.
Because while that book is finished, book two doesn’t yet exist. It has no connection to BLUE BIRDS whatsoever and will be a stand alone title. I’m currently in research mode, awaiting my first editorial letter for BLUE BIRDS, which should arrive at the end of June. The plan is to (ideally!) wrap up the majority of my research before then and to draft the second book when BLUE BIRDS is back with my editor. I’ll go back and forth between the two manuscripts, drafting one while revising the other.
Can I tell you something? I’m scared of this untitled book. There’s a new sort of pressure in working on something that’s already promised. If you’ve spent any sort of time around here, though, you know fear, like it or not, is a natural part of my creative process. I always reach a point where I can move through it, and I trust this time will be no different.
I’ll keep you up to date on how things unfold!
Do you work on more than one manuscript at once? What strategies work for you?