My phases go kinda like this:
1. Falling Fast and Hard
When the idea hits, I'm so a love-at-first-sight writer. I grab on and dive in with nary a thought to anything else. I just want to BE with my idea. We're in love. It's perfect.
2. What have I DONE?
And then Act I ends, and I'm fifty pages in, and I go straight into a panic. Seriously, every single time. I stare at my story, wondering if I was too rash, if it's really worth going further. There's a lot of whining to my friends at this point, and they are sweet enough to push me along and tell me to shut up and keep going.
3. Middles Suck
Even if I have a clear idea of how I want the story to evolve, the middle drives me nuts. I'm too far from the end to have faith that it'll come together, and I freak about going in circles.
4. Seeing The Light
Around 50k, I start to feel like I have an actual BOOK on my hands—a book that has an ending and everything! I really pick up speed around this point, and that first love comes rushing back full force.
5. First Draft High
There's a reason I have 13 finished drafts—I LOVE finishing a first draft! It's such a high. Every time. I float around giddily, mooning over my new baby book and how sweet it is, so full of potential.
6. Pre-Revision Melt Down
This quickly follows #5, with all its crushing reality. The book is far from perfect. There's still so much to do. Should I even BOTHER? Will this thing sell? Did I waste my time? Will anyone even like it? I can't possibly make this book what it deserves to be. Woe. Misery. Trepidation.
7. The Revision Cycle
• First 100 pages: THIS WILL TAKE FOREVER
• Next 100-150: This isn't so bad...
• Last 50 or so: Almost done just GET DONE BEFORE I LOSE IT
8. Post-Revision Daze
Symptoms include extreme exhaustion (probably due to brain over-exertion), a disastrous house, a realization of all the things you DIDN'T do while editing, no desire to do said things, and an extreme craving for bad food and TV binges.
9. Hey, That Might Be A Good Idea For A Book...
Then, as the haze lifts, something catches in your mind. A snippet of conversation. An image. A song. A news clip. A voice. You think, "I need to write that." And you start, having forgotten completely how hard it was to do the last time.