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The Problem with Sequels

Rienspel's sequel, That Dark Battle, is still tottering along.

I love giving crap to one of my favorite living fantasy authors, Patrick Rothfuss, for taking FOREVER to release the next book in his King Killer Chronicles. For Game of Thrones fans, there's the glacially slow GRRM who still writes on an old DOS computer. The list goes on... So, what is it about sequels that slows us traditional writers so much? Meanwhile, over in the mad world of WebNovel, Asian writers are cranking out utterly insane numbers of chapters on an almost daily basis!

Is it something in my head, like advanced writers' block?

Oftentimes, authors feel the subconscience demand to somehow 'live up' to the bar they create after their previous book is published. Other times, we get lost in the shuffle of jobs, marketing, signings, and tours. It's easy - all too easy - to forgo the craft. The actually putting-words-on-the-page part. It's the easiest and hardest part. Whatever the case, when we let our writing muscles atrophy for too long we become literally anemic (see what I did there?).

During the pandemic, one of the many things I learned was just how important practicing self-kindness is. Whether you're a writer or not, it's so easy to allow that chattering inane voice inside our heads (it's not just me, I swear!) to boss us around. It's so easy to suck up the lacklustre monotony of everyday life to grind us down, turn us to grey. It's easy to forget our magic. Our strength. Our humanizing weaknesses. The Power of being Who We Are. Anyone who underrates kindness is asking for a world of painful hurt. Kindness is inner strength personified. It's what self-respect looks like out of its shell.

So, am I taking FOREVER to finish That Dark Battle? Yes. Why yes I am. Part of that is on me. Part of that is life. And the other part is me practicing self-kindness. At this point, I'm about 2/5 the way through writing the rough draft. There, you get your update and I get my peace of mind. It's like they say, 'A good compromise leaves both sides dissatisfied.'

- Ryan

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