Wednesday, 2 March 2016

March IWSG: When does a 'break' become 'procrastination'?

Welcome back to the Insecure Writer's Support Group - a monthly blog hop where writers across the internet get together to share their insecurities and encourage each other to keep going. The IWSG was set up by the fantastic Alex. J. Cavanaugh, and you can check out the official website/sign-up list here!

If you've been following my blog for a while, you've probably guessed that I've been taking somewhat of an extended vacation from any serious writing. Yes, I've been working on a new fantasy project, but it has nothing to do with the sequel for the book that I've actually published (Synthetica).

I went to Oxford to meet up with my uni friends last weekend, and they all wanted to know if I'd finished book two, when it would be out, how the writing was going etc etc. And although it was lovely to know that they were rooting for me, I was kind of embarrassed to admit that, well, there isn't a book two - yet.

It made me realise that I can't keep putting it off forever. And although I keep telling myself that I 'deserve a break' and that 'writing something new will keep my writing fresh', the fact is, is that I'm just having a very very long procrastination period. Synthetica came out nearly a year ago - it's high time the sequel came out too.

But then that decision comes with it's own set of insecurities and issues: what if this book is awful? What if it makes no sense? What if I can't write another book?

All my life I've had a serious issue with starting things, losing interest and then dropping them before moving onto the next shiny thing that catches my attention. I told myself that if I published Synthetica, that that wouldn't happen, but I have a horrible feeling that it might. How do you get back into the rhythm of writing a book/series that you haven't even looked at for about six months? How do you recapture that passion and enthusiasm you had the first time around? I genuinely don't know if I can do it....but I'm going to give it my damn best all the same.

How do you start to write a series/book that you've left for a long time? How do you 'recapture the magic'? Or is there no magic? What are your insecurities this month?


  1. Of course you can do it Rachel! You could try reading your first book - as a reader. Just enjoy the moment. This may spark some questions or ideas.

    Try not to beat yourself up about it. If you don't enjoy the process, it will show in your writing - but you know that :)

    Wishing you a productive March.

  2. I like Nicola's suggestion of just reading your first book. Maybe that'll help you recapture that magic/passion for the series.

    I met up recently with some old friends, too, and they also wanted to know where my Book 2 was. All I could answer was, "I'm working on it."

  3. You won't know until you try. And you have to try! :)

    I always re-read the story and tweak it as I go. Then once I get back to where I left off, I'm usually inspired and motivated to continue it.

  4. That procrastination virus gets us all at some time. My college daughter is spending every spare moment from her classes working on her thesis. We call each other when we need to procrastinate but then we encourage each other to get back to it.

  5. I'm sure you can do it, Rachel. I think the suggestion of re-reading Synthetica again might be the inspiration you need to dive back into the sequel.

  6. I had the exact problem lately. One helpful suggestion I got was to read book 1 again. It really does help. It definitely does take time to get back into the story and feel of the series again, not to mention characters. But you can do it. Write what you want. When you are ready for book 2, you will know:) Enjoy your latest project.

  7. I agree with the others. Usually, just going back and re-reading the first book ignites a flame. You loved the characters once (I'm assuming) and you'll love them again. And don't let others push you; that only makes writing the 2nd book that much harder.

  8. I agree with the others. Usually, just going back and re-reading the first book ignites a flame. You loved the characters once (I'm assuming) and you'll love them again. And don't let others push you; that only makes writing the 2nd book that much harder.

  9. Maybe continuing the series isn't what's best. I know a number of writers who wrote a first book, expected to continue it in a series, but they changed. Their feelings changed, their interests changed. They grew. Suddenly other ideas, other characters, started looking fresher, more exciting, and they were inspired to write new and different books. Unless you're tied to a pub deal with a publisher who'll take away your advance if you don't write what they want you to -- just be free! You can write anything you want. You may be inspired by something different this time around. Good luck! :)

  10. I had thought I was going to do a dystopian series. Even had a cover reveal for the first book. Then I realized. I was starting to hate my book and getting frustrated with the series. That one ended up getting benched. I have an upcoming series this year but it is a contemporary novella series in verse which I will release all books at once. Things change sometimes and while it is important not to procrastinate. It's more important to release your best work and not rush a book just to give out a book two that just might turn upside down if you stress out too much.

  11. I think they should create a creativity pill. We take it on those days when we can't find a muse. They could call it the Find Your Muse pill. The others are right, Rachel. You'll find your muse in good time. You'll work out the glitches and one day you'll find yourself rushing to have your fingers keep up with your prose. Be kind to yourself, always!

  12. There was a long lag between the second and third books in my series. I didn't think I'd ever write the third one. But the more I thought about the idea, the more excited I became and I made it happen.
    Maybe going back and reading the first book will spur that excitement for you?


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