Maine to Boston: Marathon Training Through a New England Winter a success, primarily because it's been a very positive experience and something I have learned a lot from. In case you were curious, several dozen copies have been sold as of this posting (the book has been out for about a month). That's way more than I would have expected at this point, especially considering this book has a pretty narrow target audience, so I'm quite pleased. I seriously did this more for the experience and thought it would be a fun project. If I made a few bucks doing it, hey great, but that was never important.
I would guess half of the sales so far have been from family, friends and acquaintances who wanted to show their support (for which I say a big thank you). But what's also pretty cool is the other half of the sales are from people I don't know. Just like with blogging, it's pretty neat knowing others are checking out your work. The feedback has been very positive so far and it's been great connecting with folks I normally wouldn't have otherwise.
A few folks have asked me if I'm planning on working on a second book. The answer is yes. In fact, I've already started and though it's early, it's coming along great so far. This next book will be science fiction with a running twist, and I'll just leave it at that for now.
The biggest danger is hyping something up and not following through. It seems to happen quite a bit with folks first starting out with writing. That's what makes this Family Guy clip so funny:
The nice thing, however, is that I have confidence now that my first book is out there. For some additional motivation and research, I just finished reading Stephen King's "On Writing", which I would HIGHLY recommend to anyone out there who has even thought about writing. The biggest eye opener to me was in the final section of the book where he shares examples of the different drafts of a few pages from his short story "1408". The first draft seemed very amateurish, but that's also the point. In the second draft, the nuts and bolts were in place much more firmly and in the third and final draft, it was now a highly polished piece of work. On a side note, this made feel less guilty about going through blog entries and revising them several times after I've already posted them (I definitely make a lot of mistakes).
King also shows the notes he made in each draft and the whole process was pretty fascinating. It was really neat to see how he gets an idea down first and then focuses on getting it ready for the masses. He also refers to this as "writing with the door closed" and then "writing with the door open". King also gives many other valuable tips and insights, but it would take too long to list them all here. Just read the book if you're interested, you won't regret it.
Back to my own writing... The biggest obstacle in attempting to write fiction is that it's a very different craft that I don't have a lot of experience with. You can have the greatest idea in the world but what's even more important than the story itself is how you tell it. Great ideas are often ruined with poor writing. That being said, I feel I have a very unique idea and if I can tell it correctly, it will be a lot of fun to share it with the public. Now, I just have to avoid being like Brian...