I’m going to come clean, I’ve been struggling a bit with completing the second book. It’s not because I don’t want to finish it. It’s because of a little thing called self-doubt. I’m not a stranger to self-doubt, mind you. Self-doubt is something we all experience at one point or another in our lives. It rears its ugly head whenever we’re embarking on a new adventure (and that’s what writing is for me, an adventure). I certainly had a lot of self-doubt going on when I was writing my first book. However, this is the self-doubt of a different kind.
It’s the doubt born of expectations.
When I was writing Black Pearl, no one knew me. When self-doubt rose, I could tell myself, “Well, if no one likes it, at least you tried. You went after something you wanted.” I could manage that self-doubt by telling myself expectations weren’t high because I was an unknown author. Today, that’s no longer the case. I’ve released my first book, and most of the feedback has been extremely positive.
Now, I’m writing my second book.
As of this moment, I am approximately 80%-90% of the way through my first draft of Raul and Mercedes’ story. This book is different because the main characters are different. Their journey is not the same as Nikola and Devyn’s. It feels easy for me to fall back into a formula that worked the first time around, but that wouldn’t be fair to the characters, the story or the readers. But with this realization come the doubts: Will people like it? What if this story is not up to expectation? What if I’m a ‘one hit wonder’ (so to speak)? These doubts can be paralyzing.
In actuality, I could’ve been done with the first draft of Raul and Mercedes’ story, but self-doubt has often kept me from being able to focus. I’ve definitely gotten better in the last few weeks, and have been more dedicated to completing this story. Each day I get closer and I realize that self-doubt is just something I will have to contend with in this journey as a writer. I’ve said before, my goal with each book is to get better and better. To do that, I need to be okay with stepping out of my comfort zone, trying new things, and actually, you know….write. So that’s what I’ve been telling myself whenever self-doubt creeps in.
Editing is a whole other process.