We have been here before

So I’m in the melting down fretting overmuch stage of the current project (a stage that can last weeks or months, depending), and, in an effort to remind myself that this is a normal part of my process, went back and looked at all my lj posts about Thief Eyes as I was writing it.

The short version is: yeah, fretting is a normal part of my process.

The long version:

As I tried to start writing Thief Eyes, I struggled with that frustrating feeling of “why isn’t this book happening faster?” (But a shower can helped–for a while, anyway.)

As I started writing Thief Eyes for real, I was terribly afraid there just wasn’t a book there.

Halfway through Thief Eyes’ second draft, I’m still worrying there isn’t a story there–and fretting that my process is being so terribly non-linear as well. (Note to self: This is where you are Right Now with the current project. So chill. :-))

The ghost of the exploratory draft of Thief Eyes wasn’t wasted–it haunted and informed the second draft.

According to this post about my process, I ought to be telling the right story by now–something I’m not yet sure of–but it’s far too soon to worry about telling it well.

When I finished the second draft of Thief Eyes, I needed to pull back and think for a while. (Note to self: And I probably will this time, too, so Don’t Fret. Thinking is working, too.)

At the end of the third draft of Thief Eyes, I only just feel like I’ve told the right story, though I know there’s still work ahead. (I also declare that my next book Will Not Be Like This. Hah!)

Yet only a couple weeks before getting to that “right story” stage, I was still despairing about whether there was a story there at all.

After that I stopped blogging about process so much (though I kept writing letters to my characters), which probably means I felt like things were–in the fourth draft and onwards–finally coming together. 🙂

So in conclusion: worrying that there’s no story there is a normal and ongoing part of my process, and really doesn’t mean anything, except that I’m writing and thinking about what I’m writing and things are as they should be. So there.

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