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Here's my promise to prospective book authors. Write the first 20 pages (and not just any 20 pages but the beginning 20 pages) and see it through no matter how awful you feel it's coming out. Then, write ten more, and see if they feel any better.
And somewhere in there, whether it's on page 3 or page 30, you'll have a moment: you write the first thing you actually like, the thing that makes you say, "I knew I was this good!" And it's true, you are. If you weren't, why else would you have started writing? This won't be the last time you feel this way. This feeling is called realizing your potential, and it's absolute heroin.
You like that? You want some more of that good shit? Yeah you do, you little crack whore.
When you have thirty pages, thirty pages that now include a gem or two, you'll no longer view your manuscript like a deformed arm, for it has become your baby. And the thing about your baby is you can always make it bigger and better, a little bit at a time. Even if you have to leave it for a while, it will be there when you come back (barring fires or computer crashes of course --- back it up!).
I'm jumbling a couple of metaphors here, but let me introduce one more. I've often thought of working on my book like building a model city in my basement. I descend the stairs, and first take in all I've done so far --- I mean, really try to appreciate it --- then start thinking about what to add next. The adding isn't always satisfying, and sometimes it's a real struggle, but the ratio of satisfaction to struggle improves with each new bridge or building I add.
And there, in the middle of my city, I can see the first little tower I made, the one that started it all. Sure, it's crooked, the paint's gooey and blobby... truth be told it's ugly as sin, but it doesn't ruin the whole city. I can barely tell it's there unless I look for it. Probably I'll replace it at some point with something that does the rest of the city justice, but I'll save that old rickety structure, that kernel that sprouted everything. Why? Because I'm sentimental. I won't show it to anybody --- it's a little embarrassing to be honest. Okay, maybe I'll show it to other beginning model city builders just to demonstrate that it's okay to start by producing something below your standards. Not just okay, but necessary.
One day at a time, one building at a time. Sooner or later it will be "finished," and I've got some idea of how that might happen, but it's aways off and I've got more towers to build, and that's satisfying work. Live for the process, not the result, which will happen in it's own time. Your work has acquired a life of its own. Respect it, nurture it, love it.
Part  
The Savior Complex
2 months ago