I love winners. I love underdogs. I love losers when they don’t give up. But I don’t love quitters. And that one thing – not wanting to be a quitter, not wanting to feel like a person who throws in the towel, has about wore me out. It’s been two years since I published my first book. Since then, I’ve worked on the sequel, written and published a novella and wrote another story. But it’s that sequel that’s killing me. I think about the characters, how the story should go, what I want to happen. It all sounds good in my head – and yet, when I sit down to write, I lose interest.
Other characters have popped in, wanting to tell their stories, and I told them to hold on. It wasn’t their turn. After a while, they stopped knocking on the door of my imagination. And that’s sad. It bothers me that I stubbornly clung to the idea that I had to do a trilogy – because that’s what YA writers do. Those other stories, those other characters, are like smoke rising in the air. How do you recapture those ideas? Because it’s not like I haven’t tried. I wrote down the ideas – I knew to do that much. But going back a reading over those thoughts – I’m not finding the magic.
After so many hours working and reworking the sequel, I’ve got to admit it:
I’m a quitter!
Maybe one day, the story will flow. But now is not that time. I’m shelving the sequel. I’m reclaiming the joy I had when I wrote the other stories. It’s okay for me to put something aside when it becomes a burden. And that is exactly what the sequel has become. And it makes me sad to admit it.
I’ve learned something important.
As a writer, I should have stayed true to my first instinct.
If I would have done that, then those other characters – their stories would have been told.
I remembered something important.
Just because other people are jumping off bridges, doesn’t mean I have to.
If I would have worried less about what other writers were doing, I would have been satisfied with a stand-alone book.