My dad has a saying whenever someone does something stupid.
"That person is educated beyond his intelligence."
That's how I feel right now. Not that I've done anything stupid...well, not that I'm going to admit here.
I've been reading books. Books on craft. Books on the craft of writing. I read "How to Write Western Novels" by Matt Braun, and "Write Away" by Elizabeth George. I peeked into "How to Write Historical Fiction" by Roberta Gellis. Still on the bedside table are "Bird by Bird" by Anne Lamott, "20 Master Plots and How to Build Them" by Ronald Tobias, and "The Complete Guide to Writing & Selling the Christian Novel" by Penelope J. Stokes, Ph.D.
Each one showed me some new vista as yet unexplored in my writing. Plot, Emotion, Payoff, tools for the writer's toolbox. My mind whirls at all the possible ways to begin, sustain, and end a novel.
I've come to the conclusion that while you're actually writing a novel is not the time to be reading these types of craft books. I'm paralyzed by the possibilities, and completely sure I'm not up to the task. The standards set by these instructors is so much easier to talk about than to do.
Has this every happened to you? You read so much on how to do something, you feel educated beyond your intelligence? I believe I'll be setting aside the craft books until the rough draft is finished.
T. Davis Bunn said, "The writer needs to be completely confident and fearless when writing the first draft, and have no confidence whatsoever when editing subsequent drafts."
Craft books are for subsequent drafts.