Anyone Know How to Write a Second Book? Asking for Me.

How does one write a second book exactly? Non-rhetorical. It seems that I operate on a cycle of making babies every two years, some in human form and some in book form. Now my second child is here and we’ve found a sorta groove, I have that second book knocking on my brain. But, I’m unsure exactly what’s ahead.

It took 2 years to craft, write and edit my first book, after a full lifetime of thinking and trying and learning. How the hell do you do that all over again?!

This is a daunting task. As far as I’ve come on this writing journey, I still have so much to learn. I’ve felt overwhelmed at the mountain I must climb again. I’ve had a whiney voice in my head saying “ugh, didn’t we just do this? Can’t we rest?”

But the answering voice (because I’m a Gemini and there are always two) says “You’ve had your rest and it’s time to level-up.

So instead of (only) whining, I’m trying to get serious. I’ve spent some time outlining, scribbling notes and thinking, thinking, thinking. Suddenly and slowly, the ideas for this second book are starting to take form. Like my first, it wants to answer the central question that matters to every adolescent, every person, really: “how and where do I belong?”

I love exploring this question because the answer is ever-evolving for all of us. With each new change and profound transition, we grow and evolve and evaluate. Wondering, searching, exploring in the hope of finding the right fit. The answer becomes clearer the older we get, the more fearless we become. It’s such fun to give my teenage characters hell and see how they fight to become who they are.

So okay, wait, I do have an idea of how to do this. I have a vision for the plot, the seedlings of a story about musicians way cooler than I ever was in high school, and I’ve even written about 8 thousand words on it so far. I’m definitely excited by it and think it could really be something… but as it stands now, it’s fragmented paragraphs, half-thought out ideas, barely-there characters. Good lord, it really is starting ALL OVER AGAIN.

Thankfully, I can feel the itchiness in my fingers again. There’s a familiar feral look in my eyes that I get when it’s been too long since I’ve written. And though it’s a struggle to find real time to write with two kids, mounting sleep-debt, and grief battling for space in my body and mind, it’s all I want to do once I have some time to myself. So I know I will.

Now all I have to do is write the damn thing, take care of my kids, and try not to lose my mind during the submission process. Talk about leveling up.

Have you been through this already? If you have any advice or tips for getting over the mental hurdles that come with book two, please let me know!

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