I've always heard that second books are always more difficult to write. There's a semi-official name for the problem: "second-book-itis" A big part of it is success. You know, fear of it combined with an insane desire to have more of it. And, of course, the overwhelming pressure not to SUCK.
That last one's a bitch.
Because the biggest problem with sucking is that you can be completely unaware of just how much you suck, until it's too late. Stealth sucking.
I live in a lot of fear of sucking without knowing I suck.
Part of this comes with the whole territory of being "once bitten, twice shy" (Now there's a vampire novel title waiting to happen, if it hasn't already – a quick google search turned up this fun item Custom Dental Prosthetics). Anyway, the point is, having been once slapped down by the winds of fate in terms of bookbuyer's whims, I worry that I don't have a very intuitive sense of my own sucking. I mean, I may think I'm writing a best seller, but what if it's only an award-winner?? (Oops, that was a little snarky.)
See, the pressure to be clever is making even this blog suck.