Anyone who's looked at my Twitter feed recently has probably seen my many #amwriting tweets about how desperate I am to finish Windborn. This is because I've been slacking on it for ages (partly because the ideas weren't fully baked and I needed time to develop them, and partly because... I was just being lazy). Writers, as I'm sure you know, are terrible procrastinators. There have even been semi-academic articles about this and why that might be.
That article I linked to claims that writers procrastinate because as long as the book is an idea and not a reality, the author can believe that it is in fact the BEST THING EVER. No one can deny it, since it doesn't exist yet. For all anyone knows, that story idea kicking around in Joe Wannabe's head is the Great American Novel, with writing that makes The Great Gatsby look like a fourth grade homework assignment and a plot that will suck you into its black hole of awesomeness.
They might have a point. I always like my ideas better when they're just visions. I can run around thinking "It's going to be so awesome and dramatic and you're going to love it and the setting will make you want to go there and OMG you will laugh and cry and want to marry it!!!" But once it's down on paper, reality kicks in and reminds me that, no, I'm not a Wonderful Word Wizard. Just another human being, trying to capture the magnificence of another world with a net woven of thoughts. (That sentence sounded a lot more profound in my head two minutes ago).
Of course, there's also the constant fretting about whether what I'm doing is good enough. I didn't have this issue with my first book, Artificial Absolutes, because I was writing in a blissful vacuum, free from all the little red pens of the world. But now that I've worked with editors and read a million and one articles about How to Write a Book, every sentence feels like a misstep. Especially everyone has different ideas about the Rules (don't use adverbs! show don't tell! don't bury your dialogue! use active verbs!) and sometimes they clash. It's enough to drive a person batty. I remember learning about an old Japanese notion from my days studying the shakuhachi: that the mind of a beginner is pure. Boy, was that true. How can I do anything when I keep second-guessing myself?
Enough with the excuses. And enough with using blogging as an excuse. Time to get some words down!