The second time around

ImageI used to think that writing a novel a publisher would accept was the hardest thing I’d ever do. Finding my voice, treading that line between a beautiful turn of phrase and an economy of words, building a story that kept the reader’s interest and ensuring the pace was neither too fast nor too slow – all of these things had to be mastered so that the work I produced was good enough and someone would consider it, and me, worth the investment of time and resources.

Yes. That was hard. There was an apprenticeship to serve and several false starts to overcome before I succeeded. The result of all that effort, all that learning and honing of my craft is released on May 9th and I can hardly wait. I keep looking at the front cover of my book and hugging myself, excited and overjoyed to have made it. 

So the ride’s all downhill from here on, right? 


Writing that first book was NOT the hardest thing I ever had to do. The hardest thing I ever had to do was… write the next book. 

True, I’ve learned a lot now, and there are mistakes I will never make again. But these things notwithstanding, a second book is far harder than the first. Why? Because, now there are expectations. 

The publisher and readers have seen what I can do. And, not unreasonably, they want me to do it again. I must ensure the second book is of the same, or preferably better, quality. I must prove I’m not a one hit wonder, but someone who can repeat the task and satisfy the audience.

Self doubt creeps in. Those little demons sit on my shoulder and whisper in my ear. What if I lose my touch? What if the new story/characters don’t appeal as much as the first ones did? What if… what if… what if?

The really hard part of writing a book is pushing away those demons and refusing to listen to them. That goes double, the second time around. But you know what? I am going to do it. I WILL write the second and it’ll be worthy of the first. Then I’ll write the third.

I know from experience, it never gets easier, but that’s OK. If it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth anything.

And it doesn’t matter how hard it is. I CAN do this.

My first Regency Romance, “The Bankrupt Viscount” is released by Museitup on May 9th. Pre-order it for a 20% discount. More details at


About Caitlyn Callery

I have been a writer all my life. As well as Regency Romances, which I write as Caitlyn Callery, I also write stage plays, sketches and screenplays under the name Hilary Mackelden. I also have a weekly column in the Kent and Sussex Courier, and do publicity and PR for the charity, World In Need. I live in Sussex and love, (in alphabetical order) Ashdown Forest, my family, Jesus, reading and the sea.
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