1. You can do this. You’ve done this before (well, something similar, at least).
2. The Zone. It exists. You found it, writing your first book, and you can find it again. It’s amazing and worth pursuing.
3. Put words on virtual paper. Spill your guts, without an internal editor/filter.
4. Follow your muse’s lead. Forget control; simply go where your muse takes you and worry about whether it works later.
5. Write when the mood strikes, even if that’s at 4:00 am. If you can’t sleep because characters are filling your brain with dialog that seems to come from nowhere, get up and write that dialog down.
6. Corollary to #5: Pay attention to what appears in your dreams. There are real nuggets there. Your subconscious has tossed those ideas around for a while and produced something meaningful, no matter how strange it seems initially.
7. Spend time in nature throughout this process, letting your mind wander as your body moves. If that leads to an insight, trust it, use it.
8. Shut out the negative self-talk. Has it ever taken you anywhere good? No.
9. Expose yourself, metaphorically. Let people know your writing goal. You know you won’t want to explain later why you didn’t reach it, and that – coupled with their support – is powerful motivation.
10. It’s okay to try and fail. It’s better than never trying. Remember you’ve already had some spectacular failures in life. You’ve learned and grown from each, and you wouldn’t have it any other way. A safe life is a dull life. Be bold. Risk failure.