I'm currently revising my third novel.
Wait - let me revise that (pun intended!): I'm currently revising my sixth novel (not sure if the other three will ever see the light of day).
This novel already has a home, so you'd think that would be easier, but:
Truth be told, each time I write a novel it's like I've forgotten everything.
I do some planning, then fast draft and then face revisions.
I like revisions. But not early on. Early on the book feels like an immense wall that I don't have the tools to climb.
Everything feels torturous. I question how I ever sold other books. There is teeth gnashing, soul-searching, dark-night-of-the-soul moments.
This is often a good point to ask for some advice. Share a bit of the work with others. Get their ideas. Weigh them against your intentions.
Reread your favourite authors for inspiration.
And then there is this funny thing that happens - you find the solution yourself. It's like their advice jogs a part of your brain and you know how to fix the plot, the voice, the arc. You don't know how you know, but you do.
(BTW - I call this the back burner phase - all your thinking has gotten your self-concious into overdrive, seeking a solution)
The more we write, the more we want to write WELL. And we want the writing to be easier.
And maybe it is for Stephen King or Neil Gaiman, but for the rest of us mortals...
Each book must be better, more polished, more YOU. But sometimes the pressure that we put on ourselves when we do that is actually the thing that stifles creativity.
Let it go awhile. Ask for help. Be kind to yourself.
Because yes, you owe it to your reader to give them the best work you can create, but also: you owe it to yourself to not torment yourself along the way.
If writing was easy, everyone would do it and do it well.
Whether you are a yet-to-be-published author or a published one, know this: everyone struggles to get the story out of their head and onto the paper.
There's no embarrassment in that.
And YOU will get there. So will I.