Right now I am in the midst of writing the sequel to The Breeders. I have been doing so on and off since last summer. I've taken a couple of breaks to finish my new sci fi romance Eyes Ever to the Sky, but for the last month I've been banging away every night trying to hit my daily thousand word goal. And it's been hard, y'all.
Sometimes writing flows easily like a gentle stream tripping delicately along. And sometimes writing feels more like a trickle of mud caked sludge barely scraping through a pin hole. Right now, my sequel is a mud pie and I am the pin hole. Or pin head, whichever you'd rather. For a while I wondered why writing had grown so difficult. Was I losing my touch? After writing my fourth book did something come unmoored in my brain? Had I lost it??? It would explain a lot, but lord help me.
Then I started to really ponder the sequel. First I examined all the movie sequels that had bombed. Think of Back to the Future II or The Matrix Reloaded. I mean, awful. Did any of you know there was a Speed II? I didn't because I assume it was so bad it was unwatchable. In fact, I think there are only a handful of movies where the second was even close to being as good as the first. Books are not immune to the sequel disease. I've read many YA sci fi sequels this year and have quit reading quite a few. Its so much rehashing and more mooning over an aloof male love interest. Or more love triangles. Gag.
I think this is why writing my sequel is so hard. Every time I put a word down I think, "This isn't as good as The Breeders. You are only going to disappoint all those people who are waiting patiently for this. Give up now and play Candy Crush." Usually I'm very good at squashing those voices, but the problem is the better The Breeders sells, the more likely what I am writing isn't great. It's hard to silence voices when there is a very good chance that they are accurate.
For those of you waiting patiently for this sequel, don't worry, I am still working on it. I wrote 700 words today and plan on hitting my 1000 word goal before bed. It will still feel like mud through a pin hole, but I will move forward anyway. I owe it to my fans to push past the fear, to struggle forward no matter what the cost and to find out what happens to my characters. It won't be easy, but I have to believe it is worth it. Every painful step of the way.