I’ve finished redoing the lost work, and the remaining chapters for that POV character. It was fairly painful.

The thought of the first draft can often be excruciating before I force myself to start the actual writing. Once started, I tend to focus on the writing so the anxieties dissipate.

Rewriting in this way apparently doesn’t do anything for the anxieties. Having had a practice run makes it no easier, as I can’t reference what I wrote in the original.

Are the bits I’m sure were in the preceding chapters actually there, and not in the lost stuff? If I slow down to check every bit I could easily grind to a halt. I’ll just have to hope that I notice any omissions when I come round to the revisions.

Revisions are far easier than rewriting. And the initial writing for that matter. Even if entire tracts have every single word changed, I’m using the same skeleton. Even if I replace or reshape portions of the skeleton, there’s something concrete on the page with which I can work. I’m shaping the story rather than creating it, giving detail rather than expelling this lump of an idea from my mind.

Even before this I was growing disillusioned with the project, which isn’t unusual in the middle of the first draft. It becomes overwhelming, and the flaws are all I can see this close up. The general irritation of rewriting has only made it worse.

I’ll finish writing it though. At least this part, and hopefully the third part after I’ve had a break and worked out the detail of what happens. Then I’ll be able to leave it a while and judge the completed work with a bit of distance. Even if that distance is a few years.