I started writing my first novel ten years ago. I researched for six months before I began writing. In between having children, dealing with my autistic son, and running a soccer league, I finally finished Pure of Heart last year. There was a certain euphoria about completing something I put my heart and soul into, but I admit I felt depressed. I didn't want to leave my characters and their lives. So, I began my second novel, Pure Temptation, a story about a secondary character that I fell in love with from my first novel. This time, it only took me five months to finish my second novel. I was hooked. The more I wrote, the more I loved it. And, the story kept coming to me! I also researched as I went along, and I found that worked better for me.
Now, I'm working on my third novel. Like my second one, my hero was a secondary character from the previous novel. I've been preoccupied preparing my other two works for my publisher, but I still find time to write every day. One of the best pieces of advice I read from a writer's blog was to write everyday; it doesn't matter what you write, just do it. My husband recently read through my second novel, and he commented that as the story progressed, he could tell a huge improvement in my writing--it was more precise and flowed better.
I find it's difficult to take a day off from writing. I used to spend my evenings curled up with a good book, losing myself in someone else's imagination. Now, I have my laptop and I tip tap my way through my own imagination. I feel incredibly fortunate to have finally found my calling in life, and I'm always looking toward a new novel, ready to bring a new character their happily ever after.