What is surprising is that it hasn't been all bad. I think I'm building up inspiration for this next arc of Magic Inc. And also, the other stories I want to move forward with. I'm just starting to feel the pull to write for the love of it again. To just explore and feel the emotions of following character journeys. And this is where I want my motivation to come from now. Not pressure. Not my obsessive brain.
"What if readers hate the book? What if they don't even care? What will I work on next? Should I take a break? Should I continue to focus on the series of my heart? Or try focusing on another story that might sell better? What if they hate that, too? What if they hate me?" These are just a few things that have been racing through my brain since releasing Book Two. My mind can be a dark place. But these things are not where I want to put my focus. I want to focus on my love of telling stories. My love of art.
We limit ourselves when we put the biggest importance on what we think others want from our work. It's so hard to follow your own path and feel that empowering freedom if you're tied down by what you think everyone wants from you. It's natural for your mind to worry or compare, but in the end, to do the best for your mental health and the heart of your writing, you have to start listening to yourself.
Seek your love affair with art for art's sake. Tell the stories that are flowing through you. You can, of course, gain inspiration from other people's creative journeys, but trust in your own. That's what I'll be trying to do from now on.