Writing is a Struggle, Until it Isn’t

Time to get real. The writing hasn’t been going so well lately.

Getting a new book going is a struggle and it’s been harder with Book 2 of The Psychic Traveler Society—the first time I’m writing a sequel.

I somehow thought writing a series would be easier, maybe because I’ve already set up the basic world and the main characters, but there are some extra things to consider when writing a series.

Like, how much to recap? And when? How much of Book 1 will make it into Book 2? How much foreshadowing do I want to include about Book 3?

I often say that writing is like sculpting. You need the clay in your hands before you can sculpt it into something beautiful. With writing, the clay isn’t the blank page, it’s the first draft.

To start a book, you have to spew out as much clay (as many words) as you can without worrying about how it looks. Once the words are out, you can shape them. You can chip away what you don’t like and craft what’s left into a story you love.

The “clay” I’ve been creating so far hasn’t been making me happy. The words have felt heavy. Clunky. They’ve felt disconnected from the story I want to be telling. I’ve been lost on how to fix it.

Instead of spewing out more words, I stopped and have been letting the story sit.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve reorganized my office and updated my record keeping system. I’ve completed several organization projects around the house and solved countless crosswords, sudokus, etc. The whole time, Book 2 has been simmering in my subconscious.

I’ve felt horrible. Discouraged. Disheartened. Depressed.

And then, yesterday, I had an epiphany about a conversation that needs to happen earlier in the book. This morning, I realized what needs to be changed about chapter 1. And, just like that, the pieces are falling into place.

The words are flowing. The clay is being crafted into pleasing shapes. My whole self feels light and free and I find myself thinking, “Oh, yeah, this is why I love writing!”

I could spin this into a “never give up” post or a “never force inspiration” post. I could write about trusting yourself and not letting doubt get in the way of your dreams. I could write about struggle being an inevitable step on the path toward success.

But I don’t have time for that. I have to get back to Amanda and The Psychic Traveler Society. I have a book to finish.

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