It's the fear of falling that gets you.
The fear that the ground won't be solid, that your feet will slide, your knees buckle.
It keeps you sitting down, maybe lying down.
I've been hunting around the outside of a new novel for some time. The plot arc is there, the characters, but it just wouldn't start.
Oh, yeah, I've been busy with a new job. With planning two major conferences. With travel writing and case study writing and all sorts of stuff. But after writing five-plus novels and seeing two of them into print, it seemingly should get easier to start, easier to enter the dark forest with the assurance that the twisting path will emerge on the far side.
It isn't. The alchemy of experience and creation is no less mysterious now than it was 15 years ago.
I wrote journal entries from my characters, made a stab at the first chapter. It's there. Somewhere. But right now where I can start is in the middle.
Damon is walking into the car dealership...
The ground is far from certain, but at least my feet are back on the path.