Except, sometimes, when you get caught up in the doubts that follow during the project. Yes, all writers go through it. Some of us hit it early on and can’t get past the first word to put down on paper. Others get it mid-project. Once I even experienced it as soon as I finished the rough draft. [If you don’t know what happened that that project – it’s now The Art of Science.]
I know that thinking about a project midway through definitely brings out the doubts more than the merits. At least when you’re finished you can pass it off to a trusted associate (or even your best friend) and say, hey, should I keep working on this? The problem with a midway project is sometimes they try to give advice about how it ought to go – whether that is the end in mind or not it can become a stumbling block.
It’s not like i don’t have ten million other things I could be working on – believe me, I do. I’m the soon-to-be mother of two, naptime novelist, and I always think I can manage more than can be done in a day. So just one more thing never scares me, and the really important stuff does get done in time. Or it doesn’t – that happens often enough.
Current mid-draft novel is sitting at 36k. It lacks direction and I’m not sure how my protagonist is going to get to the desired end. I’m still attacking it here and there. I mix it up with other projects so I don’t get too burnt on one thing – the holidays are near and there’s supposed to be a lot to do. Yesterday I wrapped gifts, which inspired my two year old to have fits. Today I’m hoping to mail the package, but we’ll see how the time runs with the little girl.
I’m sure it doesn’t help that I keep thinking this novel might be better than the last one – which is currently sitting in the middle of a rewrite of the teen romance subplot. I don’t think I’m good at writing romance, but I know that’s what the protagonist needs right now. More tension! More drama! So I got to break him up with his girlfriend and let him focus on trying to ask out the new girl.
The more I torture my characters, the more they know I love them, right? At least, that’s the fun of being the author. Then I can enjoy the drama-free parts of my days when the toddler isn’t being stubborn (like now when she’s not napping). Better luck tomorrow.