Do I Have Second Book Syndrome?

I’d never heard of this until very recently. But maybe it’s real. And maybe I’m inflicted.

I’ll just tell you what I’ve experienced and then you can tell me if you think I’m sickly.

I wrote the first draft of my first book in about three months. I played around with it and then released it via CreateSpace. While I was still putting the finishing touches on the first book I dove right into book two. My word count reached about half of my first book’s in double the time. Then I stopped writing. Just stopped. I honestly don’t remember much of what I wrote. I remember random scenes that have no chronological order in my head. I couldn’t tell you if the writing in my second book is any better or worse than in my first. I couldn’t tell you where the story was headed when I stopped writing. I couldn’t even tell you the name of Andrew’s new client. Uh oh. I don’t think this book is ever going to be written.

And I don’t currently have any other story ideas. None. So what do you think? Think I’m just lazy or do I have a case of second book syndrome?

PS: Don’t forget that today is the last day that you’ll get $2.99 off your order if you purchase one of the “Books are bae” T-Shirts from here!

On this day in 2014 I published Writing Everyday.


15 thoughts on “Do I Have Second Book Syndrome?

  1. Is that the same as ‘second album syndrome’ for bands?
    Maybe it’s the wrong story, one you don’t really WANT to write? Maybe your man has other cases up his sleeve you could focus on? Or maybe you just need to strap yourself to your desk and give it another go?
    Sounds like you’ve seriously got out of the habit of writing – apart from your blog. Def flows easier if you write every day – for me anyway. Good luck with it, whatever you decide to do.


      • Well, they say that a band takes 18 years to write their first album (if you assume 18 as a resonable age when musicians become successful and that they’ve been accumulatiing ideas and musical knowledge for all that time.) BUT they’re usually expected to produce the next one in about two years. And if the first was successful there’s pressure where there was none before.
        Anyway, back to you. You’ve answered your own question. You no longer want to write that or any book. Fair enough. If you don’t love it, there’s no point.


  2. I haven’t heard of second book syndrome. Though I can say that I had to change my style of writing between the first and second books. The first one flew out of my pantser fingertips in 30 days, and I made so many novice mistakes that I spent two grueling years rewriting and editing (full time). The thought of going through that again was daunting. The key for me was becoming an outliner, writing a shorter book, and applying what I’d learned (to date). I had that book done and out without quite so much pain.


  3. I’ve now written a trilogy, the first 2 books are out and 3rd is written but not yet edited. And I can agree that the 2nd book was so much harder to write, not from any logical stance, it literally was just much harder.

    I found though that if you just keep at it then it gets easier, and maybe because I was 2/3 of the way through, but the 3rd book ended up being much easier to write and it just flowed.
    I think its all about momentum, once you get going and reach maybe past half way and a bit on then it gets much easier.
    Obviously it depends on the person and the story etc, but that was my experience 🙂


  4. I’ve never heard of second book syndrome, but I’m sure it’s a valid concern for many people. I’m working on my second book and it is harder, not because I don’t want to write it, but because with each successive book in my series, the plot gets more intricate and tricky to write.

    If you’re not writing because you don’t want to right now, who cares? It’s your imagination, not anyone else’s.


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