How on earth do you write book 2?

Now that is the question on the lips of every writer who has ever put pen to paper after publishing their first book. I love writing and creating stories, but I have to admit, book 2 has been an interesting challenge.

Will it be as good as the first? (If the first was in fact good at all) If the first was good and banded a small, but loyal following, will they abandon you and throw stones if they hate book 2? Maybe it won’t be as funny or won’t be serious enough. Maybe the characters won’t sing as they did in the first, maybe you should just cut your losses and never write again. Being a recluse harbouring a hoard of regrets doesn’t sound so bad.

These are all the things going on in my mind as I write my second book. I’m actually terribly annoyed at myself that they’re all so negative, I really should be trying to build myself up rather than tear myself down, but clearly my Tony Robbins CD collection is yet to take effect on my subconscious brain. I’m annoyed about that also. I spent good money on those CD’s! I just really want my writing to be good and something that people will enjoy, but I’m nervous and I can’t help it.

The second book feels different to write. When I began ‘Confetti Confidential: They Do, I Don’t’ there really weren’t any expectations. I was writing and that was enough. Finishing was cause for a huge celebration! But this time around there are people who have read my work and are (hopefully) looking forward to the second book and I’m so grateful for that. There are expectations, strangers with expectations and I want so much to please them. I’m hoping that doesn’t sound like I’m whingeing about being lucky enough to have a publishing contract, I’m really not. I realise that I need to appreciate every moment, even if some of that time I spend doubting myself.

The truth is that the writing part of the whole process isn’t the most difficult, it’s what comes after that scares new writer’s the most. At least that’s how it was in my case. Blog tours, (what on earth is a blog tour?) social media, building a following, interacting with readers and chasing reviews all amounted to a big pile of ‘oh my goodness, what do I do?’

I cannot tell you how lucky I feel to have such a great network of other authors who have been so willing to help and guide me. There was a very real possibility of becoming the abovementioned regretful recluse, but with their help I’ve managed to really embrace the path I’ve been so fortunate to land on and have a go no matter what. (I think that may have been a bit of my Tony Robbin’s subconscious speaking then. Finally getting my money’s worth.)

If you’re writing your second novel, or your first, I’d love to hear from you and how you’re managing.

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AUTHOR AND CELEBRANT

Susan Murphy