It's the middle.
I hate middles. Beginnings are like the rush of a new relationship. Everything about your love object is charming and perfect. Endings are like the solid footing of a secure relationship. But the middle. Sigh. That's when you realize that this relationship that seemed so effortless, so natural at the start is going to take work.
Now, that's not a bad thing. I'm a hard worker, both in my writing and in my relationships. (I'm married to the same man for nearly 19 years. I know relationships take work.)
Middles are just a scary place for me when my internal doubter rears her ugly head. I worry about finishing. I fret about the plot choices I've made. I slow down and don't meet my daily/weekly goals and that starts the cycle all over again.
I have learned to accept this little inner voice and name her. She is fear and once I acknowledge her, she seems to have less and less power over me.
Now, I am reaching the middle of "Heal Thyself." I haven't reached my writing goals for it over the past 2 weeks. This time, I'm giving myself permission to relax. I'm writing some poetry and catching up on owed critiques in my critique circle. And I think I know how to procede without having a panic attack.
OK--I'm changing the metaphor now. When I start a story, I spend time developing a roadmap (an outline) for the project. But I only fill in the outer details, the first set of directions. (Like when I ask someone for directions to an unfamiliar place. I can't focus on more than 3 steps, so I concentrate on those, then smile and nod, get to step 3 and ask another person for directions from there.)
I've gotten as far as I have detailed directions in the WIP. So now, I need to fill in the map and return to outlining more fully.
Thank you to PBW whose workshop post today got me thinking about this.