This always happens. It's time to start the next book: the characters have been growing and becoming three-dimensional in my mind, I have a setting and a general idea of the main conflict. I even have an idea for the first scene, but still I find it hard to get stuck in.
This is the point where my internal editor screams the loudest. What if you can't do it? she whispers. What if all those lovely, rich ideas in your head come out all grey and lifeless on the page? What if this story isn't going to be all you want it to be?
That's the crux of the matter, right there. It's not fear about what my editor would think, or even what readers might think; it's all about measuring up to this strange, nebulous 'feeling' I have about the story. Can I capture it and pin it on the page in black and white characters?
I need to give myself permission to write a duff first scene, don't I? Or even if it's not duff, a less than perfect first scene. Okay, here goes...watch out for a new word count ticker tomorrow!