How far are you through the first draft of your novel?
According to YWriter I'm 0.09% away from hitting 75% of the way through novel 2 (assuming the final draft will be 90,000 words and won't mysteriously grow to 100,000 words like novel 1 did!) and I've been browsing other writers' websites, gawping at the number of novels they've written (check out Carole Matthew's astonishing list of published books for example!), assuming it came easy to them and feeling like I'm the only author in the world to struggle with her second novel (I'm not).
Nothing I told myself (including, "Don't you realise how bloody lucky you are to be in this situation!") was making me feel any better.
Until someone posted this snippet from a Neil Gaiman blog post on one of my writing forums...
"The last novel I wrote (it was ANANSI BOYS, in case you were wondering) when I got three-quarters of the way through I called my agent. I told her how stupid I felt writing something no-one would ever want to read, how thin the characters were, how pointless the plot. I strongly suggested that I was ready to abandon this book and write something else instead, or perhaps I could abandon the book and take up a new life as a landscape gardener, bank-robber, short-order cook or marine biologist. And instead of sympathising or agreeing with me, or blasting me forward with a wave of enthusiasm---or even arguing with me---she simply said, suspiciously cheerfully, "Oh, you're at that part of the book, are you?"
I was shocked. "You mean I've done this before?"
"You don't remember?"
"Oh yes," she said. "You do this every time you write a novel. But so do all my other clients."
I didn't even get to feel unique in my despair.
So I put down the phone and drove down to the coffee house in which I was writing the book, filled my pen and carried on writing."
... and suddenly I felt a whole load more enthusiastic about novel 2!
So thanks Mr Gaiman. I'm going to buy one of your books now to show my appreciation!*
* I know - so shameful that I've never read one of his books before. Anyone got a recommendation for which book I should start with?