Writing Book 2 (from the Archive)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tuesday, January 10, 2012...at 7:10 AM 
If you look carefully, you'll notice something strange about this post.  It's a tiny thing.  Minor.  But to me, it indicates a lot.

Posting time.  Normally, I write my post the night before -- or even the weekend before -- it goes up, and schedule it.  For whatever reason, I schedule it for four in the morning -- I think my original plan was to catch east coasters before work.  So I start my Tuesdays like any other day -- e-mail, read the blog, Twitter, school run, and then I have a long period of work time.  Call me a creature of habit.

Not this week.  This week I've been putting off my blog post.  I noticed that Donna neatly side-stepped our topic with her brilliant post-party run-down (a much needed addition, so I certainly don't blame her!).  Why?  Because this week's topic is "Writing Book 2".  Not an easy task, either the topic or the work itself. 

I'm sure if you ask any published author about the sophomore novel, he will cringe or laugh hysterically or roll his eyes or start to gag and sweat.  It doesn't seem to matter if it's a second stand-alone, the second in a trilogy, a companion novel or the second in a five-book series.  That Book 2 is like the monster in the closet.

The crazy thing is, Book 2 is not my second book.  It's my fourth.  I believe Donna and Veronica can say something similar.  And Talia?  Well, I can't wait to read her post this week.

I suppose there is something about the second book for publication that gets the inner editor working overtime.  It certainly gives my inner procrastinator a full-time job (thus the late post this morning).  Because there is a large degree of fear that accompanies the sophomore novel.

Fear of failure (Book 1 was a fluke. I'm going to disappoint my agent/editor/readers.)
Fear of deadlines (I'll never make it. If I squeeze all the work in, it will be hackneyed and rushed.)
Fear of self. (I'm procrastinating like crazy!)
Fear for characters (I won't do them justice.)
Fear of the business (What if the first book doesn't do well?  What if the series is cancelled? What if I never sell another book and die unloved and alone hugging my single venture to my chest with chocolate-stained hands?)

Fear can be immobilizing. It certainly gives my inner procrastinator a lot of tools to work with.  So every day, I have to move to the edge, look over, cross my fingers and start.  I can't tell you how it will end.  I still don't know.  At some point in 2013, when Book 2 is on the shelves, you'll have to come tell me.  But until then, I have to give my inner procrastinator a run for its money.

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