I keep reminding myself that the first week of starting a new novel is always the hardest. No matter how excited I am about the story, no matter how much I've pondered the characters and the plot, I always find myself asking the same questions. "Why am I doing this? Isn't writing supposed to be fun?" Then I remember the basic truth. I don't write because I want to, I write because I have to.
My fellow fiction writers out there know what I'm talking about. You understand the stories that live inside your head, only to haunt you until they find their way onto paper. You've felt that rush of adrenaline when you get into the flow of your story and it takes on a life of its own. You've experienced the heartbreak and joy of your characters as they breathe life onto the pages.
At times like these, I also have to remind myself of the rewards. Some day, hopefully someday soon, I will be able to hit the print button on my computer and that magical combination of paper and toner will produce words that I will want to read over and over again. And just maybe someone else will want to read those words too.