I'm starting to think of books as romances. Love affairs. Starting a new book is like a new romance. You're all tingly-twirly with excitement. It can keep you up at night—in a good way. You sometimes lose the threads of conversations because your characters are talking in your head. You would rather be in the story than thinking about any other thing.
Then you get a little way in, and maybe you take your story for granted a little. Feel some frustration at little annoyances. You still have moments of inspiration, and moments when the story carries you away... but your feet are more firmly on the ground. You realize this will take commitment, dedication, loving care.
There comes a point in the middle where you hit some serious walls and have to decide to stay. Is this story worth it to you? It's taking everything you've got to give, and you're not even sure you have what it will eventually require if you're going to end things in a way that satisfies you.
But if you push through the hair-tearing middle part, or the darkness before dawn...
Eventually you have something beautiful. Something satisfying and rewarding and peaceful.
That said -- I'm in new love phase with my current project, and I can't stop thinking about it. I just want to sit and write and read what I've written and smile and think and sit and write.
So I'm out of here, because blogging is pulling me away from my new sweetheart.