March right up to it. Always write as if you’re about to fall on your face. Add fire. Bring the char. Toss in a weird ingredient. I wrote several meh books before I finally hit with Blackbirds — and when I hit with Blackbirds, it was because I had lost the capacity to care about fucking up. I felt I had already tried everything safe, everything expected. I’d already walked all the paths and followed every map and I still wasn’t writing anything of substance, so I chugged some whiskey, bit a belt, and went hard into that story because I felt like I had nothing to lose. I no longer cared if I failed. That allowed me to no longer be hesitant, to dismiss the fear of failure because I certainly wasn’t succeeding — hard-charging into that unseen fog was liberating, and it produced not only a successful book, but one whose series continues today.
This is where I am right now. The thing I’m currently working on is way out past the ground where I feel comfortable and safe. And it’s fucking exhilarating.