I started writing Book Three in 2018, while I was waiting for Book Two's cover to be made. And it was such a freeing time for me creatively. The weight of Book Two had been lifted temporarily, and I was enjoying writing again. But not long after the year crossed into 2019, I decided I needed to re-edit and re-release Book One. Which is something I am so, so glad that I did, but it took over a year and gave me so much anxiety.
After that, I spent another year giving one last edit to Book Two, before releasing it this past March. I'm proud of all the work I did on those books. I feel completely satisfied with what I've created and put out there, really for the first time. But all of that editing left me drained and creatively unfulfilled.
And now, I'm free again. To write. To work on multiple stories. It's as scary as it is exciting. And when you've been away from writing for so long, you worry that you'll never be able to do it again. That you'll never catch those fireflies of inspiration in your hands.
But what I've found, and I speak only to my own experience here, is that trying to capture inspiration, trying to force fireflies into a jar, trying to make yourself produce work, only sustains you for a while. Fireflies can't live in a jar for very long. You have to set them free before their lights die out.
What you can do, and this is how it often works for me, is to offer your hands, open yourself to inspiration, and let the fireflies land on you. Because they will, if they know you won't crush them. If they know you'll let them fly freely.
Book Three has been almost begging me to work on it this week. There's been concentrated effort, but no forcing, no crushing, no suffocating. The writing flowed, and I hope it continues to do so. But I'll try to give it that freedom to come and go as it pleases.
Because aren't fireflies more beautiful when they are free to fly?