Writing my first novel, Echo Falls, was intimidating. After all, I’d come out of my teenage years, moved to Australia, gotten married and done a lot more between finishing my last novel (still gathering virtual dust) and completing Echo Falls. I started plenty of novels, but finished them?
About the time people started asking for a sequel to Echo Falls, I started reading blog posts by authors in regards to their second novels. In a way, writing a second novel can be harder than writing a first novel; you have all the feelings from writing a first novel compounded with trying to convince yourself it wasn’t all just a fluke.
Once I’d launched Fading Echoes, I felt relieved. I’d written another novel and brought it down the path to publication. It had to get easier after that, right?
Not so much.
I’m not whinging, by any means. Being a little intimidated to start your third novel is not a bad problem to have. But, now that I can speak from experience, I can say it doesn’t get easier. At least, not for me.
Some things that are different include knowing a lot more about how I operate best. I need a little pressure (aka a deadline). Having a word-tracking spreadsheet helps a lot with motivation. Writing during the day is okay, but I work best at night.
I feel like I have come a long way just to know those things. Sure, they may seem simple, but it took a lot of experimentation to figure out how I work best. I think figuring that out is a big part of the difference between successful authors and unsuccessful authors (defining success as continuing working).
In a way, though, it’s almost a comfort that I still find the blank page an intimidating thing. Surely I can’t be the only author out there who looks at the screen and has to shake off that sliver of fear before working. But the exhilaration wins out over the intimidation, the fear, and even the bad reviews.
Because in the end? Writers write. It’s as simple as that.