This it what happens:
I think I cannot write my book.
No -- not that I cannot. But that it's nonsense. What I'm writing. What I'm trying to do. At least in the moment. Maybe after a few other moments I will be... better?
I pick up Eugenides' Middlesex. There is a big gold sticker on the front announcing it has won the Pulitzer Prize. On the back there are blurbs of praise for The Virgin Suicides. The film Sofia Coppola made... I immediately think.
Open the book.
The chapter titles are intriguing: "Tricknology" (Oooh... I could not have thought of "tricknology") "Clarinet Serenade" & a couple others that sound like faux Latin. All divided into sections: Book One. Book Two. (So simple! So smart!)
Start the first chapter.
It is not my character speaking. Not when I skim the first few pages. Nor when I cut to the middle hoping some sentence will grab me. Compel me to immerse myself in this Pulitzer prize winning perspective.
I close the book.
What I read on those pages was irritation -- that someone else has not written what I want to write -- enough to re-resign that doubt is, as always, irrelevant. Coming to "the end" will only feel like downing the draught at the bottom of a refreshing drink if I keep jotting words till I've penned "la fin."