Writing without a net

There is no worse feeling than getting deeply into a piece of writing and come to the conclusion that it isn’t going to work out, that a character is behaving out-of-character or a plot twist is improbable or the ending is simply impossible. We come to these panicky realizations every day when we are writing.
The writing process is the dead opposite of the way most of us try to live our lives which is to say with a certain amount of control. No matter how tightly a writer plots her/his work before beginning to write it, uncertainty creeps in. Unexpected things happen, characters do their own thing or the plot just looks different on the computer screen. Writing is not knowing exactly where you are going to end up or how you are going to get there or even if you are going to get there. So yes, it is anxiety producing.
We have learned to talk ourselves down when we come to an impasse. And sometimes it is just panic. The character would do that, the plot will work and the ending is just fine. Sometimes, the work requires a step backwards and some rethinking. And often, it is the better for it. But it is important to remember that anxiety is part of the process. The writer is, after all, working without a net.
The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” ~Sylvia Plath