on Helping Writers become Authors:
Writing your first story is a special experience. It brings many difficulties and challenges, but it also tends to carry itself (and you) along with a sense of passion, fun, and discovery. When we finish it, we may think, Well, it can only get easier from here, right? But as many sophomore writers can attest, writing a second novel is often an entirely different experience. It may be easier in some ways than the first, but in others, it is often surprisingly and even bewilderingly more difficult.
In my own experience, it wasn’t so much my chronological second novel that was a different experience but my second published novel. Third and fourth novels are also their own unique experiences, but that second novel can be a significant hump for writers to get over, not merely in the terms of actually writing it and making sure it is as good or better than the first one, but perhaps even more particularly in the psychological aspects of the process.