|This image is dedicated to my dear friend Turtle,|
who is facing some fears of her own.
We're in this together!
"Right now?" you ask. "Seriously? Isn't it due out later this year?"
Yes, yes, and yes.
But hang on. I started scribbling ideas for this book waaaaaaay back when I was writing Finding Angel. We're talking 2007, folks. And in between bouts of editing Finding Angel and writing short stories, I worked on it bit by bit. A chapter here and there. So when I say "finally jumped back" I mean into a manuscript sporting 58,000 words.
Okay, it's less than that now. I've been editing what I've written so far.
Still, you are right. It's been months (many, many of them) since I last looked at the manuscript. I should have jumped back in the day Finding Angel released. I could give you a whole list of excuses right now. Most of them legitimate. But I won't, because I know deep down the reason was fear.
It sounds ridiculous to me, but it's true. I know, I've already proven I can finish a novel. But there is still this odd fear that I can't do it again. That I'll get partway through and my creativity and talent will just dissipate. Gone. Never to return.
Even more ridiculous sounding is my fear of disappointing my "fans." All four of them! Okay, there are more than four :P, but I'm nowhere near NYT bestseller, so let's be honest--it's not like a sucky second novel will be disappointing masses of people. But the ones it would disappoint mean SO much to me.
There has also been the fear that I've mis-remembered what I've written so far. In other words, I'd open up my document and find mindless drivel rather than the brilliance I thought it was when I was writing it. This is nothing to snicker at. We writers all look back on early drafts and wonder what we were thinking. I expect a certain amount of that, but my fear has been that the amount would be daunting.
Fortunately, so far, that has not been the case. I've had a few "eye roll" moments, and a "cringe" here and there, but for the most part, the story and writing are pretty well what I want them to be.
(Aside: A new point of view is added to this novel. Finding Angel is all in Angel's pov, except for a few blurbs from the villain. This one, however, toggles back and forth between Angel and Someone Else. Someone I loooooove writing.)
It took a while for me to admit to myself that fear was the culprit here. But admitting it allowed me to face it, and move past it. I spent all day Saturday editing. Pages and pages. The fire for this story was still there, and it's now burning even more brightly, I'm happy to say.
I'd heard many times that the second book is the hardest to write. I've seen blog posts by other authors attesting to this fact, and maybe that added to my fear. I now understand where they were coming from. I also know it probably won't stop with this book, but I believe it will get a little easier (otherwise they'd all be saying it's the third book and fourth book and twenty-seventh book that is the hardest). If nothing else, next time I'll know it's fear, I'll know what its ugly face looks like because I've seen it before. No more excuses.