I had read the articles…lots of them…describing how difficult it could be to write the second novel. “Posh, posh!”, I said to myself. “That is not going to happen to me. It’s another writer’s myth.”

It’s not a myth. Not for me anymore.

I’m not overwhelmed by it…don’t misunderstand. I will get the second one finished. I really will. Honest. I have lots of ideas…really good ones…and I will get them written down. I’ve done it before so I can do it again. Really. I will.

The issue for me right now is the conversation that keeps taking place whenever I do sit down at the keyboard…or even walk in the room and start moving in that direction with the intent to write. It’s a one-sided conversation…more like listening to a voice than a conversation. It goes something like this:

“So, the first one was awesome…they said so. What if this one isn’t.”

“Which characters are coming back, and how will you introduce them to people who didn’t read the first book?”

“You killed somebody in the first chapter last time…are you doing to do that again?”

“What was the real secret that made the first book so good? You need to make sure you do it again!”

“Hurry up and write…people are waiting!”

“Will you use boats again? You really need to use boats again. But don’t make it look like you forced them in the story just to have them there again.”

“Should you leave the profanity out this time? Remember that lady who was all upset about it in Disruption?”

“Are you really thinking of calling this one “Distraction”? Isn’t that too much like the first one?”

“How will you ever come up with as good a cover this time? That last one was amazing!”

“You’re really thinking of having things happen in St. Louis again? You did that last time…shouldn’t you go someplace else?”

“Should Emily fall in love this time? Lots of readers said they thought she ought too.”

“What about Emily’s dad?”

“Is there going to be a third book?”

“Is this idea really as good as the last one?”

“What about Steve?”

All of these questions and opinions are making so much noise that I can’t hear the story.

And that’s why I know I will get the book finished. I just have to keep reminding myself that the story is already taking place…I don’t have to worry about answering all of those questions, or somehow creating the correct bits and pieces to make a good story. The story is already happening…it’s going on right now and all I need to do is watch as it unfolds and listen to what is said…and write it all down.

I need to get myself out of the way and stop thinking of myself as the “writer”…meaning “creator” or “wonder-worker”. I am a recorder…a witness…a re-teller of a story I can see and hear take place.

I don’t fully understand just how it works: how the story actually shows up. I guess it involves a lot of my unconscious self and usually a lot of sleep. But the good news is that I don’t have to understand how it works. I just need to watch and listen and write.

I can do that.

I will do that.

I am doing that.

Distraction…the second Emily Graham book…coming late Fall 2017!