I go to war every time I sit down at my computer and open the file for my current work in progress. Who or what am I fighting? The Beast, of course.

My particular beast feeds on my doubts, my fears, and my indecision. If I don’t defeat or at least neutralize this ravenous monster there’s a chance I will never write another novel or short story. That’s scary.

The beast knows me too well. I doubt my talent as a writer. I have no agent, despite my efforts to attract one. I have not attracted the attention of a Big Five publisher. I have no awards. And as for my sales, well, never mind.

I fear that I won’t find a publisher for my current book. I fear that with every book I write. I fear that nobody will buy the book. I fear that with every book I write.

Sometimes when I’m constructing a scene, putting together the right words, the beast joins forces with my inner critic and screams at me -that’s lousy syntax; that’s a boring adjective; you don’t need that dialogue tag; please tell me you’re not going to use an adverb. The voice can paralyze me at times.

I won the battle today. I wrote a few hundred words on “Tears at Sunrise,” the third book in the Howard family series. I’m pleased with the story and the quality of the writing. I’m through for today. The beast and I will fight again tomorrow.