Series-ous Advice

Everyone says don't publish a series first. Do your series later, after you've published a stand-alone book. What if no one buys the first book of the series? Then you're just putting effort toward one thing when you could be creating something new, which may be more successful.


I've realized something about myself: I never take good advice. I am a NF to a fault. My gut always leads the way, even when reason should override. Case in point: one evening when I was about five years old, Mom told me to open the screen door before I went inside. It already looked open to me, so I rolled my eyes, walked right into the screen, and fell down.


On the flip side though, one thing I've come to realize with my adult hindsight is that aside from a few screen door moments, my initial instinct is usually correct. Confused? So am I.


Book two of the Layna series is finally done and in the process of publication. I love it. I actually enjoyed re-reading it a million times for edits and typos. I laughed out loud at things I forgot I made the characters say. But while writing, I was always aware that folks unmoved by book one wouldn't give this one a chance. Why didn't I just listen to everyone who told me not to do this? What if in ten years, all I have to show for my series is a new waistline, courtesy of  the doughnuts I've shoved down my gullet while typing away at the computer? Why didn't I just take advice?


I guess it's because I didn't want to. I got really passionate about this idea, and maybe that was a good thing. A year and a half out from publication, it's just way too soon to know. But it is frustrating how sometimes, the very things that makes us good at writing--our intuition and imagination-- are also what keeps us from knowing how to make the "business" choices, like when to work on this project versus that project, from a practical point of view.


Don't get me wrong, guys. Among these anxieties, I'm still really excited for the Layna series. When I get excited about a story idea, it's like meeting a family member that I never knew I had, or maybe that's not quite right--a magical elf that will give me glowing jewels in exchange for lodging. That's kind of weird, too. Either way, sometimes a story hits you so hard that you know no matter what, you belong to each other. You can't turn it away and tell it to bother someone else. You let it in because you believe in it and it believes in you. If it didn't, the story would've picked someone else.


I don't know how to end this, except to say that I'd like to know your thoughts on the whole "writing a series" thing, and I'm really sorry that the elf turned out so terrifying. I don't get the broach either.

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