When the going gets tough…

Or, at least, gets tougher.

So, the honeymoon phase with That Last Onset is now over. That doesn’t mean there won’t be periods of time while I’m writing it when it will be blissful, easy, and fun ever again, but it does mean that reality has set in.

I have this process when I’m writing a book. It never fails. When I get the idea, I always think, “Oh my God, this is the best idea I’ve ever had. It’s going to be fabulous. This book is going to write itself, and I’m going to bang it out really quickly and everything’s going to be perfect!”

Once I start writing the book, it generally goes exactly that way for about 20,000 words. And then…

Reality sets in. Immediately, I begin questioning myself. My inner critic stretches, crawls out of hibernation and starts pointing things out to me. “You write really choppy sentences,” she says. “You never put in enough description. This is the stupidest idea you’ve ever had.” And the worst, absolute worst is, “This book isn’t going to be long enough!” I always fret about length. Always.

It’s funny, because in many ways my writing process is completely irrational. The lie, that I completely believe as I begin every book that this one will be the easy one, is never true. And the worries I get in the middle of the book are never that big of deal when all’s said and done. But for some reason, after the 20,000 word mark, everything starts getting tougher. And noticing this doesn’t seem to make it any less tough.

On Monday, when I was writing That Last Onset, I was filled with thoughts like, “This is awesome. Everyone’s going to love this. I can’t wait for everyone to read it.” Today is Wednesday, and it’s 4,000 words later. Instead of writing my book, I’m writing this blog post, because I’m terrified of going back into the battle with my subconscious critic. I don’t want to face my worries and fears. Never mind that there’s going to be a few nifty stretches of pure inspiration ahead, and never mind that I have this amazing, amazing ending that I get to write to look forward to. No, I can’t see any of that. Instead, I’m convinced this is the crappiest book I’ve ever written.

I’ll get over it, of course.

Since this is November, the month when lots of people do Nano, is anyone else struggling with a draft? By my count, you Nano-ers should be around the 15,000 mark today. Hope you’re still in the honeymoon phase! 🙂