And as such, must post this bit. It is relevant to all authors! (From the Post entitled: The Simple Guide to Self-Torture Saturday, August 26th, 2006)
The first stage is blinding euphoria. This will be the book that Makes My Career (careers can only be made in capital letters). Dialogue, motivations, those tender Oscar-winning moments—I've got it all. The entire story has unfurled in my head like a triumphal banner flying from the turret of a castle. Hell, I can write this sucker in a month! (Forget the fact that all my previous books have taken the better part of a year). High on the brilliance of my Best Idea Ever, I fling myself down on my desk chair—and find myself facing a blank screen.
Wait. How did that get there? Doesn't it know that it's supposed to be full of Brilliant Prose ™?
I stare at the blank screen. The blank screen stares back at me. It wins. I break eye contact first, and go to the fridge to find something to fuel my creativity. Because, really, what great writer has ever set quill to paper without first eating peanut butter from the jar?