No, I’m not really writing about illness. I’m referring to that queasy feeling writers get when they’re either about to finish a story or about to start one. It’s the feeling that makes you wonder whether you’ve adequately captured your character’s goals, if you’ve managed to convey their conflict, and if you’ve really reached a satisfactory ending to what you’ve been working on. It’s that feeling you get when you sit down to start a new story – it might have been bothering you for weeks, but now that you’re faced with actually putting words to paper (or computer monitor) you’re not sure what you were thinking.
How do they do it? How do those authors who write a book every couple of months and manage to have two books a year published –sometimes with different publishing houses – do it? How do they manage to have a home life and a writing life?
Best selling authors will tell you it’s a matter of discipline. Novices will tell you the same thing.
I think I’m still working on that particular discipline. I tend to write in “fits & spurts.” Refining that discipline can only help in the long run, but one has to get rid of that queasy feeling in order to do that.
Here’s my solution. I’ll sit down once and just write through that feeling. I’ll toss out self-doubt and turn off my internal editor and just write. Who knows, maybe that will be the impetus to unlock the floodgates and let that ‘great American romance novel’ out.