It's good to slip back into the headspace of the characters. My sense of muddling has receded from where it was a week or two ago, and I am definitely on the downhill run toward wrapping this first draft of Sunspin's second volume. I'm also definitely at the stage of thinking, "This is stupid, no one's going to want to read this tripe." In other words, situation normal for this author.
I started reading Joe Abercrombie's The Blade Itself a couple of days ago. Man, is he hard on his characters. Everything is fast and difficult from page one. Sunspin isn't like that. I'm moving a different kind of pace, more deliberate. So at the moment, Joe is making me feel inadequate. Like I want to say to myself, "Quick, kill somebody!" Except this is a different book.
It's funny how we look to others. I believe I'm a perfectly good writer who sometimes can trend towards great. (I have to believe that, otherwise I'd never sit down at a keyboard.) Yet there are so many ways to go about this. “There are nine and sixty ways / Of constructing tribal lays / And every single one of them is right." And when I've chosen one path, all those other paths look so much more attractive.
Sort of like when you order the chicken parmigiana and then salivate over every other dish that comes out of the restaurant kitchen.
Ah, writing. Insecurity must really be part of the process.