Squadratomagico has a nice description of how she came to have a solid draft of her second book:
Over the past two months, I pretty much doubled the size of my book manuscript. It went from readily fitting into a 1.5″ binder, with lots of extra room, to filling up a 2.5″ binder; I was writing about 4-5K words per week. There is more work to be done before I could even dream of sending it to a press — there are incomplete footnotes, directions to myself to amplify certain discussions, lots of polishing and streamlining to complete. In addition, over the past year I’ve been ruminating over a new dimension to my argument — a bigger, more exciting level of interpretation — and I need to integrate those ideas more thoroughly.
So, yes: there is a lot to do. But the fact remains that I have written a second book, even if only in draft. It was touch and go for a while, but I actually have a physical object now, a big pile of pages that I produced and that will someday be a bound volume with a cover and a title. For all those out there struggling: yes, you absolutely can get it done. At some point, you’ll suddenly find yourself at the top of whatever incline you have been ascending; then you’ll turn around only to see the landscape fall open before you on the other side. You’ll see the whole vista laid out. And then, you’ll slide right down into it with ease.
I think they key to this advice is not to skip over the “I was writing about 4-5K words per week” part. That’s how we get to the “whole vista laid out” and the easy walk down the mountain. As a quotation attributed to Thomas Jefferson says, “I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.” I’m feeling the need to get to work and get lucky myself.
Congratulations, Squadrato! I hope you enjoy the hike down. (Click over there to see some of her book-related plans for Burning Man this year, too.)