Before I was published, the pressure was getting published.
Now, that I have a book coming out in less than a couple of months, I'm finding other pressures.
I have a plan for a sequel for Scar of the Downers, and I actually started writing it before I got the publishing contract. Now, I've been working on it, and I'm finding that it's really hard to write.
Change is hard for me. I was used to the struggle of trying to be published, and the feelings that went along with it. After 10 years of it, I now have to adjust to new insecurities, time constraints, and overthinking of things.
I mean, how do I prepare for something I've never been through?
Change: the inevitable evil that's sometimes good.
As you can see, I'm a cautious realist, not a pessimist. I look at things through a realistic lens with a bit of caution. No, I'm not footloose and fancy free. I think through of things. I weigh the good against the bad and then expect the worst. On the flip-side, my wife thinks she's an optimist. I just say she's flighty and sometimes delusional.
(Liz's reaction: So I'm butting in here, but I was reading this for Scott, and I feel I have to point out the obvious. Please, please go back and read that "Change..." statement. If that doesn't scream "pessimist" and "skeptic," I'm not even sure what a pessimist is! hmmm... I think the only "delusional" one here is the blogger himself. ;) I'll admit that I am not without my bitter feelings toward some things in life, like the wicked prospering, having to wake up early, or even some days of the week. However, I do believe that I mostly see the proverbial glass half-full.)
(My Reaction to Liz's Reaction: Liz is a public optimist, I'll give her that. She "fools" a lot of people into thinking that she is. I'm not saying she doesn't have her optimistic qualities or moments, but that's really the lesser argument... she thinks that I'm a pessimist, but I don't really agree. I'm a realist. Sure, a realist who sees the world through darker lenses, perhaps. But I'm still on the spectrum of realist. I don't believe the world is going to hell in a hand basket, but I'm a wait-and-see kind of guy with a shotgun in hand. I think Liz is lucky that she married me because I've probably saved her from many a hair-brained scheme, e.g. the planting of catnip around our house to prevent our cat from running away. You can read about that "great idea" in this post about the feline member of our household.)
(Liz's 2nd Reaction to Scott's Reaction: LOL. Well, I have to admit that maybe that whole catnip thing was NOT the best idea! But I still maintain my optimistic status in life, with maybe a touch of gloom (that's where the hating of some of the days of the week come in). Sorry for the sidetrack. Although this does give you a REALISTIC glimpse into our conversation life. We could go on like this for quite a while. And, I think that Scott's lucky that he married me, because he needs some positivity, am I right?!)
Anyway, that's what I'm dealing with right now. I'm not complaining, because this is what I've been working toward for what feels like a very long time. I just feel some trepidation and some anxiety now that is bleeding over into my creative life. It's hard to write, it's hard to plot. I'm glad I already have a framework for where I want to go, but the path is proving to be little difficult right now.
But, this is definitely a difficulty that I'm thankful for.
Scott Keen is the author of three young adult fantasy novels, Scar of the Downers, Rise of the Branded, and War of the Downer King.