It’s always daunting to begin writing a new novel. I’m filled with questions: will I find the right voice? Will it come to me the way the others have? Will I run out of ideas? And a million others. A sense of dread pervades me, and I wonder if I’m half the writer I’ve been told I am. If I ponder these questions too long, paralytic inertia can take over.
Is it a crisis in confidence?
I don’t think so, at least not for me. It’s the usual apprehension I feel—a sense of dread—before I begin the creative trek through the minefield of the writing process. For me, it seems the natural prelude to the hard work (and the pleasure) of writing, of creating. Yes, I have a skeletal outline of the novel’s basic trajectory (or part of it) but that can never ensure full-blooded characters and a rich plot with a compelling narrative drive.