I stopped work on a planned series of books in the summertime because it no longer felt like fun. I felt pressured.
What a wimp! I hear you cry, and you’re kind of right. If everyone stopped everything because there was a bit of pressure then we wouldn’t get anywhere at all. But nevertheless, it stopped being fun as a project to work on, and so I stopped working on it.
Pressure is by no means a bad thing: it’s just a thing, and things are used for good or bad, for great things or poor ends. With a bit of reflection, I realised recently that the problem with the situation – and the books – was me. We’re not surprised by that Nathan, I hear you mutter, and neither am I, but I forget from time to time that I am my own worst enemy, and that that enemy is a saboteur by nature.
On this occasion, the enemy was supplying bad pressure:
- The last book wasn’t that good, this one will be even worse.
- You’re not like those other writers, you know, the good ones.
- You need this book to be good. You need it to be loved.
With pressure like that, the end could only come in one of two ways: a book which I was never happy with, or an abandoned project. I think, on this occasion, that I chose correctly.