May 3, 2017, was the day my second novel ‘North Emblem‘ was published. The project started since last year and overall, it took one year and a few months for this second novel to be completed—from writing, editing, formatting, copyright, designing, registration, and publication. It was with hard work and determination, finishing all the tasks needed because I have a day job, but glad I managed the time and came up with a result according to plan. When writing a story, I just write what’s in my head. It is what they refer to as a pantser. I just write and go with the flow. I guess that makes the entire process more complicated, yet more challenging. I was writing chapter one without an idea what would the story become in the last chapter. But although I write this way, I am strict with dates so I can move on to the next tasks. And I hit the target—May 3, 2017, North Emblem went available in Apple Stores, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, and Amazon Kindle.
North Emblem is book one of the Relic series. There is a cliffhanger in the book that demands more details, hence giving birth to the book two of the series. As the author, it is my duty not to disappoint the readers. The sequel will definitely come out sometime next year. In the meantime, I must reenergize myself, taking short breaks in writing. I believe taking a pause is necessary to unwind the heart and mind. Writing with a clear mind setting and refreshed energy will be more effective. Ideas will flow by its own—pantsers need that.
This coming month of August is my target month to start writing the sequel of North Emblem. It’s getting closer, but I still have much time to recharge my strength. It won’t be a walk in the park because I can only write at night and weekends. Time management is the key. But until then, I must enjoy my night off.
Thus, coming up with the list of itineraries—when a writer isn’t writing.
1. Getting a closer encounter.
So I took a short vacation together with my family. And I have chosen a place I never thought would pull me face to face with what I have imagined when writing one scene in the book. The feeling was almost indescribable.
I recalled where the story of North Emblem started. And visiting a place closer to what I have imagined when writing it simply made everything there is in the story more intimate and special. I got closer views on how it’s like to be in a place associated to where my characters at and how they fought those brewing emotions when summoned by it. I breathed the air they breathe and tasted the water where a life was fought. I felt the deep connection, paving the way to take a glimpse in my head, what will happen next in the second part of the series. The voices have whispered, wanting to tell their share of the story. The adrenaline rush began its finger twitching effect. It’s calling me. I must write them and I will.
When you are right in front of something you imagined before, you can’t help but feel astounded with a jaw-dropping reaction in the face. I was simply mesmerized. My mind was refreshed.
2. Nursing the sprouts.
I must admit. It takes a lot of patience when finishing a book. Without it, I would have stopped this writing journey already. Working during the day and finding time writing at night take a tremendous effort and patience. Not to mention the call of household chores and spending quality time with family that often comes in priority, the writing task becomes unbearable. But patience led me to squeeze my time efficiently without implicating the rest. And like transporting from one dimension and to another, I mend the ways to do it. It was a matter of deep breathing and holding on to patience.
So while I am now in my cocoon, healing myself from the stress and pressure from the previous project I’ve accomplished so far, my love in gardening demanded my attention. And germination is what I preferred the most. I love planting the seeds, water them every day until it blooms into a tiny, beautiful sprouts. And I can’t just stop nurturing them, looking forward to reaping the fruit or smell the fragrance of its flowers.
“The fruit and flowers of tomorrow come from the seeds of today.”
3. Information hoarding.
Going to a bookstore or a library is the one place that ignites my passion more in books and writing. And it is apparent that most writers love to read books. So I spent some of my time lurking inside that limited space, yet surrounded with a bundle of information and facts around me through those piled books on the shelves. I can spend the entire day, browsing for a book, flipping the pages and reading between the lines. It is a form of reconnecting with my passion and fuelling my ambition to become a better novelist.
During the early stage of my writing a novel, I fuelled my mind with inspiration. And the source was taken from the past, present and even future—probable hypothetical theory can happen because of what’s going on in the present. And these may attach to a person, a place or an event. As a novelist, I internalized this information and made it as an inspiration to come up with a unique, mystifying story. I say “mystify” because I write in the paranormal romance genre. I’d like to believe our normal every day can collide with the supernatural things around us. They may be unseen or far from our knowing, but allowing a space in my brain to entertain such possibility simply sparked my interest in coming up a different plot. And it paved me the way to write ‘A Timeless Heartbeat’ and ‘North Emblem’.
4. Finding a support system.
Writing can be a lonely path because not all people around you understand what you are going through. It doesn’t mean they care less, in fact, they love you. It’s just that they have their own interest. Family members can sometimes forget that you are an author or don’t even know you just published another book. They are proud of whatever achievement you’ve reached and that idea alone is enough. But surely, the task on your shoulder becomes bearable if you get some aid from people who’s been going through the same journey rather than painstakingly taking all by yourself with nothing or no one to turn to but Google search.
So I joined various groups where authors and writers come together. It is where like-minded individual share what they’re up to, their experiences and doubts. And I was amazed. I never thought I can also impart some of my experiences despite being new to the group. It was indeed a remarkable haven for newbie authors like me, who started the writing journey 2 years ago. Veteran authors shared their brilliant ideas, gave pieces of advice and more astoundingly, extended support. Such a motivation and I am not alone in this journey.
5. Maximizing resources and potentials.
Social Media is today’s medium of letting the world know what you are up to. So while I am giving myself a rest from writing, I maintained my social media exposure as well as my author platform updates. After all, I must take good care of my two novels. I wish that my occasional promotion will reach the readers and gain their interest about it. Over time, the demand, and trend are changing, but for the better. An author must come out and reach out the audience. It’s the best way to see what the readers wanted for a story. Likewise, the readers will know the birth of a story—how it was conceived and delivered. And above all, the inspiration behind it that cultivates the passion of the author.
So I blogged the experience, hoping to inspire other hopefuls like me. Never give up. Continue reaching your dream. One day, the bright side will shine.
|Cherry Seniel is the author of ‘A Timeless Heartbeat and The Relic Series‘, the story of defying fate—a love of a lifetime. During the day, she works with her team and applies her knowledge in the field of Information Technology. At night, she speaks with her characters and writes their story.|