To sequel or not to sequel?

My debut novel is approximately 30 days old this week, and like any new baby, is still keeping me up at night. My gut tells me that by this point my friends and family who were thinking about purchasing it probably already have, and so any sales from this point on would be from strangers. This is a prospect that both excites and alarms me.

I unfortunately have a taste for writing now, but do I truly have the skills necessary to convert it from hobby to business? Only time will tell for sure, but until history decides to weigh in I am faced with some difficult questions:

Should I begin work on a new project knowing that energy spent on that project will take away from energy being spent on promoting my first book? Another blogger, Chris Ward wrote about his views on writing a sequel, and I definitely am taking his experience into consideration.

If so, though I never identifed my inital work as being part of a series in order to give would be readers a reason to leave it on the shelf, should I focus on creating a sequel to the first book not knowing mass market acceptance, or should there even be a sequel (have I not already put my protagonist through enough) or should focus on bringing forth one of the other ideas currently co-habitating my brain?

Can I use a life line to phone a friend?

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