Writing a sequel for Memoirs of an Ordinary Girl: The Middle-ish Ages. That’s what I’m supposed to be doing at this exact moment, but instead, I’m writing a blog post about writing a sequel. Why? Because I’m looking for excuses to not work on my sequel right now and as long as I’m writing something, that’s all that matters, right?
I know. I know. It’s just like I said…an excuse. Why would I even need an excuse? So many reasons.
Writer’s block: Today I am seriously NOT feeling my protagonist, or the plot, or anything at all, for that matter. It’s just now, in this moment though. I’ve been doing fine all along… until now. The problem is I’m about to have a very busy several days in which I know I will be unable to schedule sequel writing time, so I’m feeling that added pressure.
Added pressure: I’ve been working on this sequel for five months and I really want to get through this first draft and begin editing, but I’m only at about the halfway mark. There is no time frame or deadline. I’m an indie writer, so it’s all up to me, but I am the added pressure, because I want to have a sequel to offer to prove I’m serious about this book writing thing. Also, I know I have more chances of getting noticed by readers if I have more than one book and the promise of an entire series.
Fear of sequel disaster: It happens all the time in books and movies. We’ve all seen it, or read it, and felt sadly let down. The first one is great, so a second is written or filmed. But other than The Empire Strikes Back, which is my favorite Star Wars film, I have a hard time thinking of any movies or books in the second position that have lived up to the first. Occasionally, a third can come along and help dig it out of a hole, but sometimes, once that car comes off the rails, it just becomes a larger train wreck. I don’t want Drew to be part of a train wreck. She means more to me than that and I want to get it right, for her sake. I owe her (Drew is my protagonist, if you’re wondering)! So I have repeat performance issues.
But I really need to just suck it up and write, right? I have to have faith that Drew can guide me and help me to be true to her character. When I have alone time with her, as I do now, sequestered in my office, I need to build her life. I can always go back and fix it later if I screw up too much. Being a writer is much safer than parenting. That’s what editing and revision are all about. After all, I rewrote and deleted chunks in the first book. It’s acceptable to not be perfect at first. Nobody has to know if I catch it before I publish it. I can do this. I feel better already. I always do when I write it out. Now, can I do the same with Drew?