There is something quite beautiful about writing a second novel, and that is the fact that it is your second. The very fact I have already written one book gives me the confidence that it is possible to do such a thing in the first place, it takes away the nerves of it being an impossible feat because I have done it once already.
Therefore, I can do it again.
Even the anxiety (the blasted self-doubt) has taken a slight back seat. I am still faced with that irritating daemon that sits on my shoulder and, when faced with a blank empty page, tells me I’m rubbish and will never, not ever, fill it. I’ve learnt to swat him away with my index finger. It’s still true that most of what I write in a first draft is absolute tripe, but I have the confidence to know now that it can be rewritten and tightened up. Essentially, the crap can be skimmed off and the rest can be fixed.
I also now have the confidence to know that a novel can, indeed, be written on the sofa. And, whilst I would still kill for an office space of my own, I am comforted by the fact that at least I won’t need to cram a desk into my house. There frankly isn’t space; I would either have to remove vast quantities of my children’s toys or a bookshelf or two would have to go. Neither of those options is viable.
But, most reassuringly, the best part of sitting down to write book two is that that burst of adrenaline is still there, the rush to write it, find out what happens. It’s the realisation that my career option was the right one and that, after spending three years mostly locked away by myself, I want to do it all over again with the next book.
But, this time, it won’t take three years to write.