I return to Copper Harbor’s Art in the Park August 18-19 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. In addition to More Than You Think You Know, you can check out a couple of anthologies: Women on Board Cruising offers the down-and-dirty as well as the divine moments women experience while living and traveling on their boats. I wrote the first chapter in the book. When the Water Calls We Follow traces the long-distance journeys of many different kinds of boating couples in all different kinds of boats, including my observations from the decks of my sailboat Chip Ahoy, where the first glimpse of a rundown fish camp gave me the inspiration for my novel about three badass renegade women piloting a yacht from Chicago to Mobile Bay.
I’ve got an updated sell sheet with my latest reviews and a laminated map to share. As I pack up table, bookstands, bags, pens, cashbox—all the accoutrements of a book-selling event—my mind races. I could do this. I should do this. When can I do this?
There are so many more things I could do. There are always more things authors can do. Marinas and bookstores along the river route that Hailey, Robin and Trish travel are all perfect places to drop by, leave my books, schedule book talks, chat with readers. I could spend years leaving a trail of bookmarks along America’s 6,000-mile Great Loop.
But there is this other compelling action that needs to be taken now, and that is to write the next book. And so it’s necessary to feel in the second year more detachment from the outcome coupled with a steady determination to continue getting the book out to readers, to look for reviews, to identify opportunities and to consider that some books take years to fully come to light (Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist is an epic example).
Knuckle down, buckle down and get writing. Because as legend, lore and fact ascribe, the second book is often when the breakthrough comes. I’ve already started books two and three. I’m unwilling to let them be manuscripts in a drawer. Publishing my first novel is a dream come true. It doesn’t end there. Creative fulfillment is ongoing, and can happen at any age—this piece on writing success later in life is especially affirming. Maybe it’ll inspire you.