Writing is HARD.
Anyone who tells you differently is lying.
Just like in a relationship, you go through several phases within your novel relationship (because see, you spend so much time with this thing that it seems to take on a life of its own).
Phase 1 - OVER THE MOON
You are in love with your idea. Your characters are amazing. You think about your novel day and night. You see a bright, shining future. It's love.
Phase 2 - THE HONEYMOON IS OVER
That little thing there - it's becoming annoying. But it's ok, because this is still love. I'll make it work.
Phase 3 - PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE, OR IGNORING THE PRESENT
Why didn't I outline? This is becoming a mess. I'll go make an aesthetic and try to ignore outlining for a while in hopes that my novel magically starts to make sense again. My blog needs to be updated. What's happening on social media? Maybe it's time to write some poetry. Oooh, let's plan some cover art; that'll surely make my writing not suck. I keep lying to myself for a while, giving in to whatever distractions come my way.
Phase 4 - MUDDLING THROUGH THE PACES
Reworking this scene, cutting out that scene, changing a character's name, adding in some supporting characters. It's become a bit boring. No, a lot boring. And all over the place. What was my original premise?
Phase 5 - WHY DO FOOLS FALL IN LOVE?
I hate this novel. It irks me. It has become the bane of my existence. If there was a physical copy, I'd probably burn it and laugh maniacally. This is where many an author and novel relationship dies.
Phase 6 - LET'S TAKE IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL
Alan Lakein said, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Time to revisit the outline (if I attempted one at all by this point)! Call this the couples therapy of writing. I've reorganized my thoughts and breathed new life into my work. The novel is promising us a future again, and I believe it can happen. All is right with the world.
Phase 7 - DREAM WEAVER
Every day is a new adventure as each scene is played out in my head and onto the page. It's going like a dream, and I'm beginning to wonder when the other shoe will drop and everything will fall apart.
Phase 8 - ALL GOOD THINGS COME TO AN END
I see an end in sight, and it's bittersweet. I crave conclusion, but these imaginary people have become my friends, this setting like a second home. Maybe I should do a trilogy? Nah, it's time to let this story rest in peace.
Phase 9 - NITPICK
This is the part of the relationship where it's essentially over, but I pick through all my choices, doubt myself, worry, and create a lot of unnecessary misery. Edit, edit, edit out the bad stuff so that what is left is what is good and useful.
Phase 10 - SELL YOURSELF
Hey, introverted writer, time to market this thing! Here comes the really hard part. I have to brag on myself, though I've gone through one of the most challenging things I've ever done and though I don't entirely have faith in its worth. Oh yeah, and there's a new novel to be written, so it's time to get back to it!